Kansas Basketball has assumed its rightful place in this year’s Final Four in New Orleans. They may as well be the de facto favorite, too, as the lone No. 1 seed remaining in the NCAA Tournament.
For Bill Self’s team to cut down the nets, they’ll have to go through two opponents. The second will be the winner of the Tobacco Road rivalry. Kansas would be wise not to look past the first enemy, though: the No. 2 Villanova Wildcats.
The two teams are even in the historic category. The programs each have three national titles, tied for seventh all-time. They’ve met in the NCAA Tournament several times, too.
In 2008, Kansas dominated Villanova in a 15-point Sweet Sixteen success. In 2016, the eventual champion Wildcats exacted revenge with a five-point win in the Elite Eight. And in 2018, Villanova ran all over the Jayhawks in a 16-point victory in the Final Four.
Kansas will have an opportunity to even the NCAA Tournament score during the early game of the Final Four doubleheader on Saturday evening. They’ll come into the game with a major competitive advantage, as the Wildcats lost Justin Moore to injury at the end of the Elite Eight game against the Houston Cougars.
Nevertheless, Jay Wright’s team always comes prepared to compete and Kansas will have its work set out for them. Here are three keys to a Kansas victory against Villanova on Saturday.