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Mike Lopresti | NCAA.com | April 2, 2022

Mystery swirls in New Orleans over who will win the Final Four, unless you’re Devlin the tarot card reader

The top 10 storylines in New Orleans for this Final Four, ranked by Andy Katz

NEW ORLEANS — The time has come to predict the Final Four. But never mind the usual stats and metrics and talk show speculation. This is New Orleans, so let’s go right to the top.

Devlin, the tarot card reader.

He was on duty Wednesday at the Bottom of the Cup Tea Room on Chartres Street, two blocks off Bourbon Street and 15 blocks from the Superdome. In the front area, they are all varieties of tea on sale, and also voodoo wish pencils and crystal balls. This, after all, is the French Quarter. In the back are the small rooms for readings. He’s been calling the cards for 29 years, so let’s see what he thinks about the weekend down the street.

"I have zero knowledge when it comes to sports,” he began, so the cards would have to do the prognosticating. Though a couple of years ago when the national football championship game was in town between Clemson and LSU, he did read for some Clemson folks. "I just kept seeing (Clemson) were basically going to get their butts handed to them, but it was going to be a good game," he said. But the Clemson people seemed a little edgy so when they asked for Devlin’s verdict he answered, "Go Tigers!"

THE BRACKET: Check out this year's bracket and how we got here

He meant LSU, but the customers were happy because they thought he meant Clemson. At least until game day when LSU won 42-25. Other than that, he said he gets a sports query”once or twice a year. Outside the occasional gambler.”

Anyway, down to business. Clearly, the Bottom of the Cup Tea Room must not have an office pool, because Devlin had to be told what teams would be in the Superdome this weekend and who was playing whom. So much the better. No worry about him being a closet Duke hater or something, to skew the results.

The sign outside the Bottom of the Cup Tea Room in New Orleans

The cards had to be shuffled, and then the first batch pulled out for the Kansas-Villanova game. All Devlin asked is that the shuffler be thinking hard about the teams, the coaches, their strengths and weaknesses. ”It may sound weird,” he said, ”having logic involved in something that deals with mysticism.”

BRACKET TRACKER: How many brackets correctly picked the Final Four?  

First, the Villanova cards.

“What I’m getting here is they are going to be the ones that win that game. The queen here, it’s almost like they have some deeply rooted plans than they have not used. In fact, the emperor card here — this would be the equivalent to the coach — it’s almost like he’s wondering if he should do it or not.”

So Jay Wright is up to something. Is there any doubt now?

“As for the other team, it seems like every win they make, it almost gets overshadowed. Emotionally they end up losing.”

Poor Kansas. He probably meant last Sunday, when the Jayhawks were whipping Miami but the nation was riveted on North Carolina-Saint Peter’s.

UNDER THE RADAR: The big story that no one's talking about 

Next, three cards for Duke.

“Oh, goodness.”

Good or bad?

"Duke is showing as being a hardcore team this year. With the six of coins card, they’re very point specific with everything, so it’s like if they’ve got a certain player out there it’s for that one specific play. The seven of wands is showing a high level of communication. Then the queen of cups is showing wisdom and emotional knowledge. They’re a very domineering team.”

Gee, it’s almost like he had season tickets to Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Sound good for the Blue Devils, but North Carolina still had three cards to play.

FINAL FOUR: Coach K makes 13th Final Four

“They are also going to be very stubborn and hard-headed. Wow, this is like an extremely technical game. It’s almost like North Carolina is going to be the pit bulls in this. I am seeing here with the nine of wands aggression being used, and dealing with the eight of cups here, them not wanting to leave. It’s almost kind of like if they get a taste for blood they do not want to leave until they get it.”

And he didn’t even watch the Saint Peter’s game.

“This is going to be a very difficult game. The five of wands here, it’s almost like even though they’ve got holes going on, they’re finding ways to fill them.”

Final verdict?

“I’m seeing North Carolina.”

Let’s not tell Coach K.

Now the big one. Three cards for Villanova for the championship, then three for North Carolina.

“Ohhhhhhh.”

Ohhhhhhh?

“What I’m getting here is it’s going to be North Carolina. It almost seems like if Villanova wins, it’s going to be on one penalty shot or something stupid like that.”

Obviously, the queen of wands must be aware that Villanova leads the world in free throw percentage.

“But North Carolina, the two of coins, this is showing them staying committed. Through that, dealing with the princess of cups, it’s almost like the less they know, the better off they are. Because with the five of swords here, their habits oddly enough are what’s going to keep them winning. It’s almost like just their training, the muscle memory, everything else is going to overpower everything.”

MORE: Lowest seeds to make the men's Final Four 

One shining moment for the Tar Heels, then?

“That’s what I’m seeing. But Villanova is definitely going to give them hell through the whole thing.”

Devlin records his sessions so the customers can review the results. He handed over the CD, the one that is such bad news for Wright, Krzyzewski and Bill Self.

If he’s wrong and you’re disappointed, Tar Heel fans, don’t blame the officials. Blame the five of swords.

2022 March Madness schedule, livestream links

Click or tap on any of the games below to be taken directly to that live stream or box score.

GAMES TIME TV CITY Venue
National Championship — Monday, April 4
No. 1 Kansas 72, No. 8 North Carolina 69 9:20 p.m. TBS New Orleans, Louisiana Caesars Superdome
RESULTS TIME NETWORK CITY SITE
First Four — Tuesday, March 15
No. 16 Texas Southern 76, No. 16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 67 6:40 p.m. truTV Dayton, Ohio UD Arena
No. 12 Indiana 66, No. 12 Wyoming 58 9:10 p.m. truTV Dayton, Ohio UD Arena
First Four — Wednesday, March 16
No. 16 Wright State 93, No. 16 Bryant 82 6:40 p.m. truTV Dayton, Ohio UD Arena
No. 11 Notre Dame 89, No. 11 Rutgers 87 9:10 p.m. truTV Dayton, Ohio UD Arena
First Round — Thursday, March 17
No. 11 Michigan 75, No. 6 Colorado State 63 12:15 p.m. CBS Indianapolis, Indiana Gainbridge Fieldhouse
No. 4 Providence 66, No. 13 South Dakota State 57 12:40 p.m. truTV Buffalo, New York KeyBank Center
No. 9 Memphis 64, No. 8 Boise State 53 1:45 p.m. TNT Portland, Oregon Moda Center
No. 1 Baylor 85, No. 16 Norfolk State 49 2 p.m. TBS Fort Worth, Texas Dickies Arena
No. 3 Tennessee 88, No. 14 Longwood 56 2:45 p.m. CBS Indianapolis, Indiana Gainbridge Fieldhouse
No. 12 Richmond 67,  No. 5 Iowa 63 3:10 p.m. truTV Buffalo, New York KeyBank Center
No. 1 Gonzaga 93, No. 16 Georgia State 72 4:15 p.m. TNT Portland, Oregon Moda Center
No. 8 North Carolina 95, No. 9 Marquette 63 4:30 p.m. TBS Fort Worth, Texas Dickies Arena
No. 12 New Mexico State 70, No. 5 UConn 63 6:50 p.m. TNT Buffalo, New York KeyBank Center
No. 15 Saint Peter's 85, No. 2 Kentucky 79 (OT) 7:10 p.m. CBS Indianapolis, Indiana Gainbridge Fieldhouse
No. 5 Saint Mary's (CA) 82, No. 12 Indiana 53 7:20 p.m. TBS Portland, Oregon Moda Center
No. 9 Creighton 72, No. 8 San Diego State 69 (OT) 7:27 p.m. truTV Fort Worth, Texas Dickies Arena
No. 4 Arkansas 75, No. 13 Vermont 71 9:20 p.m. TNT Buffalo, New York KeyBank Center
No. 7 Murray State 92, No. 10 San Francisco 87 (OT) 9:40 p.m. CBS Indianapolis, Indiana Gainbridge Fieldhouse
No. 4 UCLA 57, No. 13 Akron 53 9:50 p.m. TBS Portland, Oregon Moda Center
No. 1 Kansas 83, No. 16 Texas Southern 56 9:57 p.m. truTV Fort Worth, Texas Dickies Arena
First Round — Friday, March 18
No. 7 Ohio State 54, No. 10 Loyola Chicago 41  12:15 p.m. CBS Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PPG Paints Arena
No. 2 Auburn 80, No. 15 Jacksonville State 61 12:40 p.m. truTV Greenville, South Carolina Bon Secours Wellness Arena
No. 3 Texas Tech 97, No. 14 Montana State 62 1:45 p.m. TNT San Diego, California Viejas Arena
No. 3 Purdue 78, No. 14 Yale 56 2 p.m. TBS Milwaukee, Wisconsin Fiserv Forum
No. 2 Villanova 80, No. 15 Delaware 60 2:45 p.m. CBS Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PPG Paints Arena
No. 10 Miami (Fla.) 68, No. 7 No. 7 Southern California 66 3:10 p.m. truTV Greenville, South Carolina Bon Secours Wellness Arena
No. 11 Notre Dame 78, No. 6 Alabama 64 4:15 p.m. TNT San Diego, California Viejas Arena
No. 6 Texas 81, No. 11 Virginia Tech 73 4:30 p.m. TBS Milwaukee, Wisconsin Fiserv Forum
No. 4 Illinois 54, No. 13 Chattanooga 53 6:50 p.m. TNT Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PPG Paints Arena
No. 2 Duke 78, Cal State Fullerton 61 7:10 p.m. CBS Greenville, South Carolina Bon Secours Wellness Arena
No. 11 Iowa State 59, No. 6 LSU 54 7:20 p.m. TBS Milwaukee, Wisconsin Fiserv Forum
No. 1 Arizona 87, No. 16 Wright State 70 7:27 p.m. truTV San Diego, California Viejas Arena
No. 5 Houston 82, No. 12 UAB 68 9:20 p.m. TNT Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PPG Paints Arena
No. 7 Michigan State 74, No. 10 Davidson 73 9:40 p.m. CBS Greenville, South Carolina Bon Secours Wellness Arena
No. 3 Wisconsin 67, No. 14 Colgate 60 9:50 p.m. TBS Milwaukee, Wisconsin Fiserv Forum
No. 9 TCU 69, No. 8 Seton Hall 42 9:57 p.m. truTV San Diego, California Viejas Arena
Second Round — Saturday, March 19
No. 8 North Carolina 93, No. 1 Baylor 86 (OT) 12:10 p.m. CBS Fort Worth, Texas Dickies Arena
No. 1 Kansas 79, No. 9 Creighton 72 2:40 p.m. CBS Fort Worth, Texas Dickies Arena
No. 11 Michigan 76, No. 3 Tennessee 68 5:15 p.m. CBS Indianapolis, Indiana Gainbridge Fieldhouse
No. 4 Providence 79, No. 12 Richmond 51 6:10 p.m. TNT Buffalo, New York KeyBank Center
No. 4 UCLA 72, No. 5 Saint Mary's 56 7:10 p.m. TBS Portland, Oregon Moda Center
No. 15 Saint Peter's 70, No. 7 Murray State 60 7:45 p.m. CBS Indianapolis, Indiana Gainbridge Fieldhouse
No. 4 Arkansas 53, No. 12 New Mexico State 48 8:40 p.m. TNT Buffalo, New York KeyBank Center
No. 1 Gonzaga 82, No. 9 Memphis 78 9:40 p.m. TBS Portland, Oregon Moda Center
Second Round — Sunday, March 20
No. 5 Houston 68, No. 4 Illinois 53 12:10 p.m. CBS Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PPG Paints Arena
No. 2 Villanova 71, No. 7 Ohio State 61 2:40 p.m. CBS Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PPG Paints Arena
No. 2 Duke 85, No. 7 Michigan State 76 5:15 p.m. CBS Greenville, South Carolina Bon Secours Wellness Arena
No. 11 Iowa State 54, No. 3 Wisconsin 49 6:10 p.m. TNT Milwaukee, Wisconsin Fiserv Forum
No. 3 Texas Tech 59, No. 11 Notre Dame 53 7:10 p.m. TBS San Diego, California Viejas Arena
No. 10 Miami (Fla.) 79, No. 2 Auburn 61 7:45 p.m. truTV Greenville, South Carolina Bon Secours Wellness Arena
No. 3 Purdue 81, No. 6 Texas 71 8:40 p.m. TNT Milwaukee, Wisconsin Fiserv Forum
No. 1 Arizona 85, No. 9 TCU 80 (OT) 9:40 p.m. TBS San Diego, California Viejas Arena
Sweet 16 — Thursday, March 24
No. 4 Arkansas 74, No. 1 Gonzaga 68 7:09 p.m. CBS San Francisco, California Chase Center
No. 2 Villanova 63, No. 11 Michigan 55 7:29 p.m. TBS San Antonio, Texas AT&T Center
No. 2 Duke 78, No. 3 Texas Tech 73 9:39 p.m. CBS San Francisco, California Chase Center
No. 5 Houston 72, No. 1 Arizona 60 9:59 p.m. TBS San Antonio, Texas AT&T Center
Sweet 16 — Friday, March 25
No. 15 Saint Peter's 67, No. 3 Purdue 64 7:09 p.m. CBS Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wells Fargo Center
No. 1 Kansas 66, No. 4 Providence 61 7:29 p.m. TBS Chicago, Illinois United Center
No. 8 North Carolina 73, No. 4 UCLA 66 9:39 p.m. CBS Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wells Fargo Center
No. 10 Miami (Fla.) 70, No. 11 Iowa State 56 9:59 p.m. TBS Chicago, Illinois United Center
Elite Eight —  Saturday, March 26
No. 2 Villanova 50, No. 5 Houston 44 6:09 p.m. TBS San Antonio, Texas AT&T Center
No. 2 Duke 78, No. 4 Arkansas 69 8:49 p.m. TBS San Francisco, California Chase Center
Elite Eight — Sunday, March 27
No. 1 Kansas 76, No. 10 Miami (Fla.) 50 2:20 p.m. CBS Chicago, Illinois United Center
No. 8 North Carolina 69, No. 15 Saint Peter's 49 5:05 p.m. CBS Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wells Fargo Center
Final Four — Saturday, April 2
No. 1 Kansas 81, No. 2 Villanova 65 6:09 p.m. TBS New Orleans, Louisiana Caesars Superdome
No. 8 North Carolina 81, No. 2 Duke 77 8:49 p.m. TBS New Orleans, Louisiana Caesars Superdome

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