The first game of the Final Four will take place Saturday at 3:09 pm PT. It will be the #1 Virginia Cavaliers "hosting" the #5 Auburn Tigers, and the game will be played at the US Bank Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Virginia is a big favorite to reach the finals. They are -260 with the money line, and a 5.5 point favorite, while Auburn is +210. The over/under is 131 points. Virginia has a 79.8% chance of winning this game. I think Virginia will win, but almost 80% seems like a high number. Of course getting to this point might entail a little luck, but Auburn isn't really that high of a seed at #5, and plus they had to win 4 games just to get to this point, so obviously momentum has to carry some weight.
Auburn played in a tough SEC conference with good teams this year like LSU, Tennessee and Kentucky, and yet it is the Tigers who are still standing. After losing to Kentucky, they finished off the season winning 8 in a row, including beating Tennessee twice in those 8 games, which gave them the SEC championship this year. In the tournament, they beat really good teams including New Mexico State, Kansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky. But from the start of the tournament, even before, I said Virginia would win the championship and I have no reason to abandon the ship now.
They are on a mission after falling in the first round last year, and now with Duke out of the way, the team that handed them 2 of their only 3 losses on the year, that should be even more reason they can win this year's tournament, and if they do, avenge that loss from last year. So while I think Virginia will win it all, the only problem is that 10-20 years in the future, they won't stand out as the 2019 champions, but they'll always be remembered as the first #1 to fall to a #16 in the first round.