FILE - In this March 20, 2021, file photo the March Madness logo is shown on the court during the first half of a men's college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. A Supreme Court case being argued this week amid March Madness could erode the difference between elite college athletes and professional sports stars. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Final Four: Kansas vs Villanova

A nine-game winning streak will come to an end when two highly-decorated programs face off this weekend. The Kansas Jayhawks (32-6) are set to battle it out with the Villanova Wildcats (30-7) in the Final Four.

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It will be the fourth time Kansas head coach, Bill Self, and Villanova’s head coach, Jay Wright, bumped heads in the tournament.

The previous three performances saw the winner of the matchup win the national championship.

Kansas defeated Villanova on their way to the 2008 national title.

However, the Wildcats avenged the defeat in the 2016 and 2018 tournament, winning the national title both seasons.

With the trend of the matchup’s winner becoming national champs, both teams will be highly motivated to pull out a win.

You can expect an intense, ball-hawking, floor diving, competitive performance when the ball tip-off this Saturday, at 6:09 p.m.

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Kansas

Led by guards, Ochai Agbaji (18.9PPG) and Christian Braun ( 14.6PPG), the Jayhawks rely on explosive guard play to generate victories.

Along with a potent backcourt, the Jayhawks boast an imposing front-court of Jalen Wilson (11 PPG) and David Mccormack (10 PPG).

To go along with double-digit points, Wilson averages 7.4 RPG and Mccormack 6.8 RPG.

With four players averaging double figures, Kansas is a team that plays together and for each other.

Finishing the season as the top seed in Big-12, the Jayhawks cruised past Texas Tech to win the Big-12 tournament.

The Jayhawks continued their ecstatic play into the tournament, where they defeated Texas Southern 83-56 in the first round of the tournament.

After two close wins over Big East opponents Creighton and Providence, Kansas steamrolled the University of Miami on their way to the final four.

Kansas begin the game down 35-29 at halftime before the Jayhawks erupted.

Displaying their prowess on both sides of the ball, the Jayhawks outscored the Hurricanes 47-15 in the second half.

If Kansas wants to avoid being sent home, they must start the game the way they finished the last one.

Allowing an early lead to a team like Villanova can be difficult to overcome.

Villanova

Boasting one of the most experienced rosters in the tournament, the Wildcats have leaned on veteran play to reach their current position.

The downfall of their roster?

The Wildcats basically run a six-man rotation lacking bench depth.

Nevertheless, one of the nation’s top programs, Villanova finished the season as the second seed.

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Facing Creighton in the Big East Championship, Villanova used a stingy defense to squeeze out a 54-48 victory, crowning them conference champs.

In the first round of the tournament, Villanova breezed past Delaware 80-60 before mustering a 10-point win against Ohio State in the next round.

Once again relying on a stout defense, Villanova defeated Michigan and Houston in the next two rounds, allowing 49.5 PPG in the two matches.

Now set to face Kansas in the Final Four, Villanova’s defense must show up again.

Especially with Villanova missing one of its top scorers in guard Justin Moore (14.8 PPG).

Moore injured his Achilles in their last match against the Houston and will miss the remainder of the season.

Villanova will continue to lean on seniors Collin Gillespie (15.6PPG) and Jermaine Samuels (11.1 PPG) to carry the offensive load with Moore out.

In a offense that moves the ball, Gillespie will be expected to continue orchestrating the offense.

Gillespie and Samuels were freshmen on the 2018 Wildcats team that won the National Championship.

Lacking depth, the Wildcats have the team to make up for statistical numbers with experience.

Villanova will need inspiring performances from their veteran leaders if they wish to advance to the National title game.

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