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March Madness predictions 2022: Instant picks heading into Men’s Final Four

We give our instant picks for the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament as semifinal matchups are made official.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament West Regional-Arkansas vs Duke Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Ever heard “think long, think wrong?” Well, we’re firing from the hip and providing instant picks as the 2022 Final Four matchups are decided.

No deep pondering about this at all. Here are our initial, gut feeling picks for how the national semifinal round of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will shake out.

No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks (Midwest) vs. No. 2 Villanova Wildcats (South)

Both teams came out with impressive victories in their respective Elite Eight matchups. Shooting from the hip here, we’re going to go with Kansas advancing to the title game for two reasons. First, the Jayhawks showed the ability to completely flip a game on Sunday, turning a six-point halftime deficit into a 26-point blowout. Second, Villanova will most likely be without key starter Justin Moore, who unfortunately suffered an apparent Achilles injury in last Saturday’s victory. That will serve as a significant blow to ‘Nova’s chances.

No. 2 Duke Blue Devils (West) vs. No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels (East)

For the first time ever, we are getting the Duke-UNC rivalry in the NCAA Tournament and it’s a high-stakes showdown in the Final Four. North Carolina evaporated Cinderella Saint Peter’s on Sunday and has been playing incredible basketball over the last month. So is Duke, however, as the Blue Devils have seemingly improved with each passing game during the tournament. As if they didn’t need any more motivation for the Final Four, they still remember UNC spoiling Coach K’s final home game at Cameron Indoor Stadium earlier in the month and that will give them extra fuel to take it to their blood nemesis in the Superdome.