Final Four Preview: Jayhawks will take out Ramblers

Luke Hanna, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Four teams left. After the insanity from the first two weekends of play, only four teams remain in the NCAA tournament. Villanova, Kansas, Michigan, and the Cinderella team of the tournament, Loyola-Chicago, will all be battling it out to bring home the trophy.

Villanova, a favorite to win the tournament, made it to the final four with ease. Every game Villanova played in the tournament, they have won by more than 10 points. With their two toughest victories being over Texas Tech and West Virginia, both winning by 12, they have a great attitude and a good stride of momentum heading into the Final Four.

Villanova will meet another powerhouse one-seeded team in San Antonio, the Kansas Jayhawks. Unlike Villanova, Kansas fought for their spot in the Final Four every game they played. With their largest victory being against Penn, where Kansas found themselves down eight points early, `they have had a very tough road to glory.

After their first round victory over Penn, the Jayhawks had three 4-point victories in a row against Seton Hall, Clemson, and Duke. All of these games came down to the wire with free throws being important for the Jayhawks. With an overall team free throw percentage around 70 percent and an impressive senior leader in Devonte Graham, Kansas could find themselves victorious over Villanova and heading to the championship.

Out of the West region, the Michigan Wolverines are ready to win once again. Michigan always seems to be clutch from the Big Ten tournament on into the big dance. Michigan had a scare early in the tournament against Houston University, but thanks to a game winning buzzer beating 3-point shot at the end of the game by Freshman Jordan Poole, the Wolverines are in.

Two more impressive wins against Texas A&M and Florida State managed to seal the deal for the Wolverines to have a spot in the Final Four. Michigan seems to be well managed in every concept except for one important idea. Michigan cannot hit free throws down the stretch which almost blew them the game against Florida State. Four Wolverines have a free throw percentage in the fifties which could lead to the demise of Michigan. Keeping players in the game with low free throw percentages could lead to possible blown leads and another crazy game ending story for Loyola-Chicago.

Finally out of the South region, the Ramblers of Loyola-Chicago plan two break two more hearts during the tournament. No team has been more dramatic in the tournament than the Ramblers. Winning their first three games by two points or less, the Ramblers have been successful in nail biting fashion. In the Elite Eight, Loyola-Chicago showed the fans that they deserve to be there by putting a beat down on Kansas State, 78-62.

Being a team with extreme heart and confidence, as well as extreme momentum for being an 11-seed, they will be difficult to beat. The extra pass they choose on every position and the strategy on defense is superb. The Ramblers deserve to be in this position and just play smart basketball.

Final Four Predictions:

Kansas over Villanova; 77-75

Loyola-Chicago over Michigan; 68-64

Championship Prediction:

Kansas over Loyola-Chicago; 68-59