After a wildly entertaining NCAA Basketball Tournament, North Carolina will face Kansas for all the marbles tonight at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. Will Bill Self win his second national title? Or will Hubert Davis become the first basketball coach in history to win the NCAA Tournament in his first year?
We've broken down this game from a variety of angles. Here are our best bets for the CBB National Championship Game.
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The North Carolina Tar Heels can become only the second No. 8 seed in history to win the NCAA Tournament. The only other team to do so was Villanova back in 1985. UNC endured several losses in what was a disappointing regular season.
However, since the Big Dance started, the Tar Heels have looked like a completely different basketball team. This team has four very capable scorers in Armando Bacot (16.3 ppg), Brady Manek (15.2 ppg), RJ Davis (13.5 ppg), and Caleb Love (16 ppg). It'll be interesting to see which UNC stars step up against a stifling Kansas defense.
While Gonzaga, Arizona, and Baylor got most of the in-season hype, the Kansas Jayhawks quietly went about their business and kept racking up wins. Ochai Agbaji leads the team in points (18.9 ppg) and looks like a legitimate NBA lottery pick. Jalen Wilson leads the team in rebounding (7.5 RPG), while Remy Martin provides a spark off the bench.
Kansas is just a solid all-around basketball team with very few weaknesses. But, will they be able to slow down the potent North Carolina offense? Before checking the trends, let's take a look at the live odds for this game.
Live Odds for North Carolina vs Kansas - National Title Game
While Kansas has a better overall record, North Carolina has been the better team against the spread. UNC is 21-16-1 ATS on the season while KU is only 20-19. Here are some more key betting trends for this matchup:
Kansas is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games.
Kansas is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games played in April.
North Carolina is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games.
North Carolina is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games played on a Monday.
As you can see, both teams have been kind to their backers of late. It's tough to bet against either team, but we are rolling with...
Sure, North Carolina is the hottest team in college hoops. However, Kansas has been the most consistent team over the course of the entire season. We think Kansas finds a way to get the win and the cover tonight in the title game.
Our line on the game makes Kansas a six-and-a-half-point favorite so there's enough value to make this a best bet. The Jayhawks have played the 5th toughest schedule this year while the Tar Heels have played the 33rd toughest. That makes us like Kansas even more.
While UNC will have an edge on the glass, we don't think Armando Bacot will be anywhere near 100% for this game. He went down with a sprained ankle against Duke and may be a bit limited in this one.
These teams are pretty much even on the offensive end, as both rank inside the Top 30 in offensive efficiency. The X-factor will be the Kansas defense, which ranks 49th in defensive efficiency while North Carolina only ranks 137th. UNC has played some inspired defense of late, but we see them coming back down to earth against a KU team that ranks 14th in shooting percentage (47.9%)
We're a big believer in taking Unders in championship games. Most of the time, the pace is slower in the beginning due to the added tension and stress. Also, players are more likely to be too fired up, which often results in shots going off the back iron.
Both of these teams have trended towards the Over most of the season. That makes it hard to bet on the Under. However, Kansas ranks 94th in pace and North Carolina ranks 74th.
So, as you can see, though both teams have adequate scorers, neither team necessarily likes to run an up-tempo offense. Our prediction is that this game is played in the high 140s so take the Under.
Thanks so much for reading our posts this college basketball season and be sure to check out our player prop picks for tonight's game. Remember, don't go too crazy with your bankroll just because it's the last game. The 2022-23 season will be here before you know it!