Veteran college basketball coach predicts Duke, Coach K will win it all

Pete Gillen, who coached Providence to the Elite Eight and took Xavier and Virginia to the NCAA Tournament, is a college basketball analyst on CBS Sports Network.

Throughout the event, he seems on “NCAA March Madness 360” and “NCAA March Madness Bracket Breakdown.” As advised to The Post’s Steve Serby: 

It’s Coach K’s world, and we’re simply passing by way of it.

Final Four

Duke over North Carolina: The elite of the elite rivalries. Dean Smith was the king, after which all of a sudden he had anyone there difficult his kingdom a bit bit. Coach K began slowly rising up and up and up, now he actually has matched Dean’s nice success, perhaps surpassed it barely. The younger Coach K was very intense, he made espresso nervous, very shiny man, had nice self-discipline from going to West Point, he was an amazing communicator, he may recruit gamers. He adjusted to the sport, he didn’t recruit the one-and-dones then all of a sudden, hey, he received the perfect of the one-and-dones. Some folks don’t alter. He’s Mr. Adjustable.

This might be the perfect sport of the NCAA Tournament. 

Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski is in his final season after decades of coaching. His final season may be a victory lap, too, if him and Duke wins it all this year.
Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski is in his ultimate season after many years of teaching.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Duke has the perfect participant on the court docket in Paolo Banchero, and the perfect coach. Duke has 5 gamers who can get their very own shot, they usually can harm you with dribble penetration to the ring. Center Mark Williams can get Armando Bacot in foul bother. And Duke has a wonderful backup heart in Theo John, a switch from Marquette. 

Coach K does an excellent job mixing up his 2-3 zone protection as a change of tempo, which will get North Carolina out of sync and slows down guards Caleb Love and R.J. Davis. The Duke zone cheats to Brady Manek, the Tar Heels’ finest 3-point shooter. AJ Griffin can harm you on all three ranges. Banchero takes over the sport and scores 25 factors and exhibits why he might be the primary total choose within the NBA draft. 

Duke 86, North Carolina 82 

Kansas over Villanova: Kansas is my solely Final Four choose left. That’s why I fired my advisor, Madame Zorba, and went again to my roots deep in Brooklyn and spoke with The Crew — Batman, Bullhead, Three-Fingered Willie, Ice, Slice, Dice and Mice — they had been the cheerleaders. I do know I nailed these picks. 

Losing Justin Moore is a devastating blow for Villanova. Something has to offer on this one as a result of Kansas performs an uptempo type with an amazing transition sport and Villanova performs stingy protection. 

Ochai Agbaji is the perfect participant on the court docket. He’s not gonna get as many pictures as he often does, however scores inside and out of doors. He’s gonna get his factors. Remy Martin slows down Collin Gillespie and holds him to 12 factors. 

Villanova can’t run with Kansas. A Bloody Nose Lane sport. Moore may give Gillespie a relaxation. Villanova has to attempt to lull the Jayhawks to sleep and get them in a half-court sport. But the Jayhawks’ two-headed heart, David McCormack and Mitch Lightfoot, harm Villanova down low. When the Jayhawks rebound Villanova’s misses, they’re flying up the court docket, so the Wildcats’ fast-break D is essential to maintain the sport shut. 

Kansas 44, Villanova 42 

Championship sport

Duke over Kansas: Jeremy Roach is a so-called weak hyperlink for Duke, however he’s been enjoying nice within the huge video games. When your level guard performs properly, you play properly, and Roach is enjoying in addition to he can play proper now. Banchero is simply too fast and too proficient for anybody within the Kansas entrance court docket, and scores inside and out of doors and controls the sport with 22 factors and 11 rebounds. Williams outplays McCormack and Lightfoot due to his energy and athleticism and controls the paint along with his protection. 

Agbaji scores 25 factors, however doesn’t get sufficient assist. Martin is slowed by Coach K switching over in a 2-3 zone, forces up pictures and solely scores 12 factors. The Blue Devils have 5 gamers in double figures. They’re now not freshmen anymore, they’re extra mature. 

I believe Jon Scheyer will do an excellent job. He discovered from the grasp, performed for the grasp. He’ll have an abundance of riches. Just don’t mess it up. It’s good when you’ve the horses, you’ll be able to run in a variety of Kentucky Derbies, proper? I believe Coach K will give him some recommendation and he’ll hearken to him. 

Roy Rogers used to trip off into the sundown in an previous cowboy film. Happy trails to Coach K as he rides off into retirement.

Duke 78, Kansas 72 

And now a fast notice on Shaheen Holloway and Saint Peter’s. Holloway will be excellent at Seton Hall. Kevin Willard did a wonderful, glorious job, I believe he’ll proceed that custom and even construct on it.

As for Saint Peter’s, hats off to a small Catholic college in Jersey City, to all the gamers and the coaches. The ball on the bottom in a playground, one little boy desires the ball and he goes for it, one little boy needed to have it. They willed their method. North Carolina was too huge, and Davis and Love weren’t bothered by their strain.

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