Two-time ACC Coach of the Year and current ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg revealed his NCAA final four predictions. On Monday’s episode of ESPN First Take, Greenberg revealed that he expected Kansas and Duke to meet in the NCAA championship. Although the analyst explained that his picks are subject to change, he expects his picks to stand firm. Despite leaving North Carolina off of his list, he explained that he has little criticism of the Hubert Davis-led squad.
Greenberg on Kansas
When insisting that Kansas would make it to the final round, Greenberg explained that the Jayhawks’ stingy defense will allow them to advance. Greenberg was impressed by Kansas’ second-half defense against the Miami Hurricanes. Despite being down 35-29 at the half, the Jayhawks allowed just 15 second-half points as they cruised to a 76-50 win.
Kansas is led by All-American senior guard Ochai Agbaji, the Big 12 conference player of the year. The 6’5 guard has averaged a career-high 18.9 points per game this season while averaging 5 rebounds. Agbaji’s stellar off-ball shooting and perimeter defending have earned him a Wooden Award nomination. This award is given to college basketball’s most valuable player.
Super-senior Remy Martin demonstrated the high price that he places on winning by transferring to Kansas from Arizona State. After averaging just under 20 points per game for two consecutive seasons at ASU, Martin serves as Kansas’ bench sparkplug. Despite not being part of Bill Self’s starting five, Self explains that the Jayhawks truly have seven starters. Although Martin’s 8.6 points per game are a significant drop from previous years, he has the rare opportunity to compete for a championship.
Although North Carolina impressed Greenberg, he emphasized that Duke’s squad is about as perfect as a team can get.
Greenberg pointed to the play of prospect Paolo Banchero, who has demonstrated efficiency on both ends of the floor. Duke is averaging over 4o points per game inside of the paint, highlighting the dominance of the team’s big men. Over half of the team’s points come from close range, and they have been converting 70% of their attempts. Greenberg asserted that 7’1 big man Mark Williams is the nation’s most dominant big man, averaging 11 points and seven rebounds per game.
While the Blue Devils’ front court earns most of the shine, guard Jeremy Roach has been critical to the team’s success. Aside from his last-minute clutch bucket against Texas Tech, Roach’s stingy defense has stopped opposing guards in their tracks. Although Roach wows many with his shooting ability, he is also quite gifted when scoring around the basket. The sophomore’s twitchy dribble moves and acceleration ability allow him to gain the necessary step when driving to the hoop.