Two years ago, when Villanova advanced to the National Championship after trouncing Oklahoma, I wondered if they would be a favorite over perennial national powerhouse North Carolina. They weren’t. It was like a 2-point line or something.
Anyway, that was two years ago. Now Villanova, oft-considered the small Catholic school occasionally undeserving of its seed, is a 5-point favorite against Kansas in the Final Four.
They opened at -5 (-5.5 in some places) and are holding steady there today. Interestingly, Michigan is only favored over Loyola-Chicago by the same amount.
Villanova is also a heavy favorite to win it all:
Kansas won’t be an easy matchup, something we’ll get into as the week goes on, but the lines bodes well for Villanova. I was more worried about Duke, who was a 3-point favorite over Kansas. They seemed like the better all-around team, with the better coach, and likely would’ve yielded a much tighter line.
It’s hard to imagine Villanova shooting as bad as they did yesterday. If they shoot even somewhere approaching 40% from three, they’ll win. The ensuring matchup against presumably Michigan will be just as tough. John Beilein is one of the best coaches on the planet and his West Virginia teams gave Villanova fits. I’m not looking forward to that. One step at a time, though.