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Why Each Team Remaining Can Win

The Final Four is set and it features four teams that couldn't be any more different. Villanova’s defense-first approach will clash with Oklahoma’s shoot-the-lights-out offense while an incredibly well rounded UNC will take on this year’s Cinderella, Syracuse.

These four teams offer unique schemes and attacks, but each looks to win their games their way. With that in mind, we look at how each remaining team in the Final Four can become the last team standing.

Villanova Wildcats

Villanova is the best defensive team left in the NCAA Tournament and defense wins championships. Heading into the Final Four, the Wildcats have not allowed a single opponent to score more than 70 points through the tourney so far. ‘Nova has been especially adept at taking away their opponents' first options, with their adversaries’ leading scorers averaging a combined 15 points, with only Miami’s Sheldon McClellan scoring more than 16.

Villanova’s offense is one of the most balanced in the tournament, with four players averaging double-digit points. Plus, their offense relies heavily on veterans who are not easily rattled with Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu both in their final year and Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins both juniors.

Oklahoma Sooners

Buddy Hield.

Buddy Buckets has put the Sooners on his back several times this year, most recently when he scored 29 points in the second half in the team’s Round of 32 game against VCU. Hield is averaging 29.2 points through the tournament while shooting 47 percent from beyond the arc.

It’s not just Hield though, as the rest of this Oklahoma team can shoot as well. OU has shot a combined 48.5 percent from the floor during the tournament with Jordan Woodard and Isaiah Cousins both averaging double-digit points to add to Hield’s output.

Hield, Woodard, Cousins and Ryan Spangler are all seniors that have spent their entire collegiate careers together so their chemistry can not be overstated.

Syracuse Orange

Let’s face it; nobody aside from Syracuse fans expected this team to make it this far. There is next to no pressure on this team to perform. Cinderella’s have a large portion of the audience pulling for them with only the fans of the opposing teams booing them. In all likelihood, they will be playing in front of friendly crowds in Houston. Long and short, Syracuse is playing with house money.

There may also not be a better second half team in the tournament than Syracuse. The Orange have outscored their opponents 166-104 in the second half with only Gonzaga eclipsing the 30 point mark.

North Carolina Tar Heels

UNC has bowled through three teams ranked ninth or higher so far this tournament and the Tar Heels have crushed every one of them. UNC has outscored their opponents by an average of 16 points per game throughout March Madness and have not faced any stiff competition from anyone.

The depth of scoring that UNC possesses is terrifying, as the starting five have averaged a combined 68.8 points with all but Kennedy Meeks averaging double-digit points (and even he has scored 25 points in the past two games).

UNC is the most well rounded team in the tournament and that will bode well for their chances at cutting down the nets on April 4.

2016 NCAA Tournament Champion

Odds as of April 1 at Bovada

  • North Carolina -105
  • Villanova +275
  • Oklahoma +375
  • Syracuse +900