The teams in the Final Four are not exactly the teams the experts predicted would be still alive for the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. In fact only one of the teams in New Orleans in the NCAA Tournament is a No. 1 seed, but we still have ourselves a juicy cadre of contenders to win the national title. Combined, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Villanova are responsible for 17 NCAA championships, including nine since the turn of the century. It's hard to script a better finish to the season.
Even better, Caesars Sportsbook oddsmakers expect the penultimate slate of this season's games to be a doozy. No. 1 seed Kansas is favored by only 4.5 points over No. 2 seed Villanova, and No. 2 seed Duke is favored by only four points over No. 8 seed North Carolina.
And yet ... our experts are close to a consensus on who will advance into Monday's national championship game. North Carolina native Chip Patterson is riding with the underdog Tar Heels in the Saturday finale in a bold straight up pick, but for the most part, the rest of our team likes the favorites to win out as part of a chalky Final Four. We shall see.
Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the rest of the month for NCAA Tournament coverage through the end of the Final Four. Let's take a look at our expert picks for the Final Four games on Saturday.
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern
2022 Final Four predictions
(2) Duke vs. (8) North Carolina
8:49 p.m. | TBS, March Madness Live: Duke and North Carolina split the regular-season series, but UNC played spoiler in its win beyond winning on Duke's home court. That's because the Tar Heels' win came in Coach K's finale at Cameron Indoor. So as silly and cliche as it sounds, the revenge narrative for Duke here makes me a believer. Likely to be a close one -- almost certainly will be a close one -- but Blue Devils by a field goal feels like the number. Take the points. Pick: North Carolina +4
|DUKE -4||DUKE -4||UNC +4||UNC +4||UNC +4|
(1) Kansas vs. (2) Villanova
|NOVA +4.5||KAN -4.5||KAN -4.5||NOVA +4.5||NOVA +4.5|
6:09 p.m. | TBS, March Madness Live: It's impossible to boil down any matchup to one specific injury or facet of the game ... in most cases. However, it may just be this simple: Villanova, already thin on depth, is even more razor-thin after losing second-leading scorer and minutes leader Justin Moore to an Achilles injury in the Elite Eight. KU has the depth advantage, and it's pretty close to a draw in terms of talent. Maybe Caleb Daniels steps up for Nova and Jay Wright rides five or six guys for 35+ minutes with success, but I'm skeptical the injury doesn't tilt this one heavily in favor of the Jayhawks. Pick: Kansas -4.5
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