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March Madness Betting Guide: Final Four

The Final Four pits teams of similar styles against each other in the semifinals. What bets do our models like for Saturday's games?

College basketball has arrived at the final destination of the 2017-18 season. San Antonio is the site of the Final Four this year, and the field will become pretty memorable because of the inclusion of an 11 seed for the fourth time in tournament history.

It is hard to compare this Loyola Chicago team to any of the prior Cinderellas because of their close games against their best competition. It does not help that the best team they faced to reach the Final Four was a 3 seed while other 11 seeds had to get through at least a 1 or a 2. Outside of beating Tennessee, the Ramblers have not really faced the moment where people think “this has to end at some point, right?” That being said, Loyola has looked great on both ends of the court to this point, regardless of competition.

Now they have reached the Final Four, where Michigan is waiting, but the Wolverines arrive at this point in comparable fashion. Michigan was the team that many had as a savvy pick to come out of the West region, and they made good on people’s predictions while taking on a similar “less than impressive” list of opponents to get here. Their close calls and relatively shaky play has been overshadowed by their thrashing of Texas A&M in the Sweet 16 and the idea that they are supposed to be here.

On the other side of the bracket, things appear to make more sense. Although Kansas was an underdog in the Elite Eight to a Duke team that had higher highs and lower lows this season than the Jayhawks, they are the 1 seed out of the South Region and one of the best offensive teams in the country this year. While being referred to as “not your typical Kansas team,” the Jayhawks are once again kings of the Big 12 -- winning the regular season for the 14th consecutive year and also taking the conference tournament crown.

They face Villanova, the 1 seed in the East Region. The 'Cats won in very old-school fashion last Sunday to reach this point. Nonetheless, the Wildcats have taken out each of their opponents by double digits and were the odds-on favorite in the East since the beginning of the tournament. Considering the side of the bracket they are coming from, both Villanova and Kansas have fought through relative chalk to get to this point, so it is only fitting they would both play a 1 seed in the national semifinal.

Taking all of this into consideration, we used our models to find the side we liked in each game in a continued attempt to make sense of the madness. Now that things have calmed down a bit and we have some great matchups in the Final Four, let's try to continue the momentum from a solid weekend in the Elite Eight and Sweet 16.

Without further ado, here is who we like on Saturday.

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