Men’s NCAA Tournament Final Four Trends Report

Jermaine Samuels #23 of the Villanova Wildcats looks on during the second half against the Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Sweet 16 Round at AT&T Center on March 24, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas.
Image Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

And then there were four.

Kansas is the lone No. 1 seed remaining in the Men’s NCAA Tournament and will take on a banged-up Villanova at 6:09 p.m. ET on Saturday in New Orleans, while eighth-seeded North Carolina will battle for a third time against No. 2 seed Duke at 8:49 p.m. ET. Here are BetPrep’s key trends for both Final Four matchups.

All odds via Caesars Sportsbook as of 11 a.m. ET on April 2. 

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No. 2 Villanova (+4) vs. No. 1 Kansas

Saturday, 6:09 p.m. ET, TBS (O/U: 134)

This will be the fourth meeting in the NCAA Tournament between Villanova and Kansas all-time. Here’s something for your back pocket: In each of the past three meetings between these two teams in the NCAA Tournament, the winner has gone on to win the National Championship. 

According to FOX Sports, 1-seeds are 8-3 straight up and 7-4 against the spread against No. 2-seeds in the Final Four since 1985. No. 1 seeds against lower-seeded teams are also 16-5 SU in the Final Four since 2001.

The last five times a Big East team has been an underdog in the NCAA Tournament, they went 1-4 SU and 1-3-1 ATS. In four of those five games, the score went Under the total. Kansas is also 3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS in its last four Final Four appearances, with its only loss coming as a 4.5-point underdog to…wait for it…Villanova in 2018. The Wildcats are 5-2 all-time against Big 12 teams in the NCAA Tournament.

Villanova Key Trends

  • The Wildcats are a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last four games.
  • Villanova is 21-6 ATS in its last 27 NCAA Tournament games.
  • The Under is 4-1 in the Wildcats’ last five NCAA Tournament games and is 6-1 in their last seven games overall.

Kansas Key Trends

  • The Jayhawks have covered six of their last eight games overall.
  • That said, KU is just 2-5 ATS in its last seven NCAA Tournament games.
  • The Under is 7-3 in the Jayhawks’ last 10 games overall.

No. 2 North Carolina (+4) vs. No. 1 Duke

Saturday, 8:49 p.m. ET, TBS (O/U: 152)

These two teams split in the regular season, both winning on each other’s home court. On February 5, Duke blasted UNC 87-67 as a 3.5-point road favorite in Chapel Hill, then the Tar Heels returned the favor in a 94-81 rout in Mike Krzyzewski’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. UNC was an 11-point road dog at tip-off.

The last six meetings between these two teams went over the total, which includes both matchups during the regular season this year. The Over is 6-0 in the Tar Heels’ last six games versus a team with a winning record and is 8-3 the last 11 times the Blue Devils faced an opponent with a winning percentage above .600.

As for seeding trends, 2-seeds are 0-1-1 ATS and 0-2 SU against eighth-seeds in the Final Four since 1985. One would think that would be reversed but fear not Duke fans: ACC teams are 10-4 SU and 9-5 ATS since 2001, including 8-1 SU and 6-3 ATS when favored.

How has Duke fared when appearing in the Final Four? The Blue Devils are 9-3 SU and 8-4 ATS in the national semifinals since 1985 and are 8-1 SU in their last nine Final Four appearances. They’re also 3-0 SU all-time against fellow ACC opponents in the NCAA Tournament and a perfect 9-0 SU all-time when facing an 8 seed. Then again, UNC is 3-0 SU all-time versus ACC opponents in the NCAA Tournament, so both of these teams have had success when playing conference foes in March/April.

North Carolina Key Trends

  • The Tar Heels have covered in four straight overall and four straight when listed as the betting underdog.
  • UNC is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games following a win.
  • The Over is 5-2 in North Carolina’s last seven games when listed as the dog.

Duke Key Trends

  • The Blue Devils are 3-7 ATS in their last nine NCAA Tournament games.
  • Duke is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games versus an opponent with a winning percentage above .600.
  • The Over is 8-2 in the Blue Devils’ last 10 games overall.