Watch Kansas vs Villanova 2018 live stream: Time, TV channel, and how to watch Final Four online Final Four 2018 Schedule: Start Time, TV Channel, Odds And Bracket Picks For Jalen Brunson vs. Devonte’ Graham, a marquee guard matchup.
One of the most intriguing matchups of the 2018 NCAA Tournament is tonight’s Final Four showdown between Kansas and Villanova, a pair of No. 1 seeds that managed to successfully navigate four rounds of wild March Madness upsets to get to the event’s final weekend. The Wildcats have absolutely dominated their competition to get through the East region, winning all four matchups by double-digit margins. The Jayhawks did not make it look as easy, only beating their last three opponents by four points each. They also needed overtime to slip past Duke to cut down the Midwest region nets, getting fortunate that the Blue Devils’ last-second shot in regulation hit every part of the rim and went out to bring on extra time.
Because of these relative struggles compared to Villanova, Kansas opened as a five-point underdog in this upcoming Final Four contest. Bettors still liked the Wildcats more at that number, forcing the line up to where it currently stands at NOVA -5.5. Here’s an in-depth look at the betting lines for this matchup, as well as each team’s national championship odds, TV and live stream viewing information, start times and more for every remaining game in the 2018 NCAA Tournament:
Kansas and Villanova meet in San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday for the second Final Four matchup of the 2018 NCAA tournament.
The Jayhawks and the Wildcats are the only two remaining No. 1 seeds.
Villanova beat No. 3 Texas Tech to advance to the Final Four. The Wildcats are looking to get back to the national semifinals for the first time since 2016 when it won the national championship.
Kansas moved past No. 2 Duke to reach San Antonio. The Jayhawks has lost its last two Elite Eight games and is trying to get back to the Final Four for the first time since 2012 when it was national runner-up.
No. 11 Loyola-Chicago takes on No. 3 Michigan earlier Saturday night and the winners will play in the national championship on Monday night.
How to Villanova vs. Kansas in the Final Four?
When: Saturday, March 31, 8:49 p.m. ET
TV channel: TBS
Live stream: You can watch online with March Madness Live.
In an NCAA tournament filled with surprises, Saturday night’s second national semifinal is probably the most glamorous of March Madness. The two remaining No. 1 seeds, Villanova and Kansas, meet to determine who will face Loyola Chicago or Michigan in Monday’s national championship game. Follow the game here as we update throughout the night.
[ Loyola Chicago vs. Michigan: Pregame reading and live updates ]
Schedule: Villanova (34-4) and Kansas (31-7) are scheduled to tip off 40 minutes after the conclusion of the first semifinal, at approximately 8:49 Eastern time.
Television: The game will be broadcast on TBS. Jim Nantz, Grant Hill and Bill Raftery will be on the call for the fourth straight year. Tracy Wolfson will offer reporting.
SAN ANTONIO — The adage that college basketball games in March and April hinge on guard play in this young 21st century will find another of its pinnacles Saturday evening in the second game, when Villanova and Kansas each send out consensus all-American point guards who combined for 7,746 college minutes, 223 starts, 2,385 field goal attempts (46 percent made), 1,152 three-point shots (40.3 percent made) and, as important as all of it, 1,053 assists.
If it comes to free throws, as it can, Jalen Brunson and Devonte’ Graham have taken 860 of those. They have made 692.
For connoisseurs of guard play, guard-play intellectuals and maybe even the sporadically curious, it should stand as a treat and an emblem of a sport that, over time, ventured out onto its perimeter. Kansas Coach Bill Self confessed that, even while coaching his team, he won’t mind gazing out that way a bit.
“You know, the thing that makes both, at least in my eyes, that makes both Jalen and Devonte’ so good is they’re terrific players, but their intangibles are even better than their abilities,” Self said. “It will be a chess match with both of them. Jalen obviously can do a lot more than play point. He can be a lead guard, but he’s also an unbelievable, efficient offensive player. And he may be, probably is, their best post-up player as well. That’s different than we’re used to.
“Devonte’ has to guard Trae [Young of Oklahoma] and Jevon [Carter of West Virginia] and Keenan [Evans of Texas Tech], which are all-American-type guards, but we’ve never had to guard one as diverse and skilled in so many areas as what Jalen is. It will be a great matchup. Even though we switch a lot and they do, too, I hope they’re matched against each other quite a bit because I think it will be fun for people to see that and certainly fun as to coach to it.
All coaches are different, so Villanova’s Jay Wright planned to avoid looking while acknowledging the temptation.
“You know, I really try not to think about those types of things,” Wright said. “And I really don’t think I would enjoy any matchup against Devonte’ Graham, really would have fun with it . . . He’s a difficult matchup. And you can put a smaller guy on him like Jalen, but I think he’s got the ability to shoot over someone close to his size. And you put a bigger guy on him, he’s got the quickness to go by him. So I wouldn’t say I look at it exactly like Bill.”
He later said, “And it’s tempting when everyone is talking to you about the matchup, when you’re the player they’re talking about, it’s just tempting for it to get in your head. I don’t think he’s let it.”
Everyone else is, of course, free to eyeball the potential feast.
There will be Brunson, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard who came out of Lincolnshire, Ill., as Rivals.com’s 20th-ranked player in 2015, and Graham, the 6-2, 185-pound point guard who came out of Raleigh, N.C., by way of New Hampshire, as the 36th-ranked player in 2014. On Friday, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association named Brunson its national player of the year, which Graham found “well-deserved.
Atop even his 19 points per game, his 4.8 assists, his 41.4 percent shooting from three-point range and his uncommon post play, Brunson got further hosannas from Oscar Robertson, the award’s namesake. “It means someone who really understands basketball,” Robertson said. “I think that a guard like Jalen controls the game. I played guard and I know what it takes. I know how you speed things up, slow things down. You get your team set for the offense. When they’re all out of proportion, they’re running all over the court, boom, you go out and settle own. They watch you. And to see what you can do. If you don’t get upset, you stay cool, they’re going to do the same thing. So Jalen has done that this season.”
Said Brunson: “One of my favorite players of all time is Steve Nash, for sure. And I guess in today’s basketball, I love Chris Paul, the way he plays. Those are my idols just because they’re not, like, overly athletic. They’re not going to wow you with eye-popping athleticism or quickness or whatever like that, but they lead their team, they get the job done. And they’re very smart and use their talents and just their IQ to just get things done. And I really admire that. I really watched the way they played.”
While Brunson’s packed three-season tenure glows with two previous Final Four games — both in 2016, when he played 21 and 22 minutes, scoring eight and four points with two assists all told — the emotion here tilts toward Graham. A smart, likable sort, he, along with Kansas, had gone home at the harshest round the previous two seasons, with regional final losses to Villanova in 2016 and Oregon in 2017.
Villanova and Kansas are facing off in the Final Four game we actually saw coming. The No. 1 seed Wildcats and No. 1 seed Jayhawks were two of the best teams in college basketball all season long.
Aside from the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers — who went down to No. 16 UMBC in historic fashion — Villanova was the best team in the country with a ridiculously impressive resume. The Wildcats paired the No. 1 offense in the nation with a top-15 defense. Villanova has lost just four times all season, and never by more than eight points to top-80 teams. They beat a number of KenPom top-20 teams, including Gonzaga, Tennessee, and Xavier twice. They’re really dang good.
Here’s the complete March Madness bracket!
Kansas was viewed as the weakest No. 1 seed, but still earned a No. 1 spot. The Jayhawks’ overtime win against Duke in the Elite Eight proved the worthiness of their ranking. They also won debatably the toughest conference in all of college hoops: The Big 12. A team that can get hot in a hurry, Kansas should give Nova its toughest 40 minutes of the tournament. (The Wildcats have won all four of their games by double digits.)
For those watching to see the future of the NBA, look no further than Villanova’s 6’7 wing, Mikal Bridges, the sharpshooting lanky big who’s likely to be drafted in the high lottery.