Each weekday, our college hoops experts discuss the biggest issues, trends and themes in college basketball.
1. Oklahoma played Villanova earlier this season; Syracuse has faced North Carolina. What can we learn from those earlier matchups?
Andy Katz: Not much. Villanova is playing at such a high level and Syracuse is on an epic roll. The familiarity of personnel will help, but that's where it stops being a key factor.
C.L. Brown: Not much at all from Villanova-Oklahoma, with the exception being that Villanova isn't going to recklessly launch 32 3-pointers again. The Wildcats attempted 30 or more 3s in six of their first eight games; in the 30 games since their loss to the Sooners, it's happened only four times. Nova is much more selective now. As for North Carolina and Syracuse, the Orange ride a wave of confidence unlike anything they had in their previous two meetings.
John Gasaway: In the case of Oklahoma-Villanova, we learned that both teams allow opponents to shoot 3s, and if one team hits those shots (the way the Sooners did in December), the result can be a blowout. And even though North Carolina won at Syracuse in January, we learned that a zone can perform fairly well on its defensive glass -- even against the Tar Heels.
2. Which of the two national semifinals is more intriguing?
Katz: Villanova-Oklahoma. Buddy Hield is can't-miss TV. The Wildcats are playing their best defense of the season. And Oklahoma's offense has never looked better than it did in the two games in Anaheim.
Brown: Oklahoma-Villanova because it will have shooters galore on the court, and no range is seemingly too deep. I expect the pace of the game to be quicker than Carolina-Syracuse because of that pesky Orange zone.
Gasaway: It's unanimous: OU-Nova. Hield is the best player at this Final Four, and he's facing the team that dispatched the tournament's overall No. 1 seed.
3. Which team wins the national title?
Katz: I picked Oklahoma at one point during the season and then got off the Sooners. I'm back on. Buddy for the win.
Gasaway: I agree with C.L.: Tar Heels. Roy Williams' team has now won seven consecutive neutral-floor games against NCAA tournament teams (three in the ACC tournament), and UNC prevailed in six of those contests by at least 14 points. The Heels have the look.