Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook
The UNC Tar Heels will take on the Kansas Jayhawks in the 2022 National Championship. These two teams have faced each other 11 times, with the last game coming in 2012. The Tar Heels won that game 80-67.
The UNC Tar Heels had a strong regular season but only entered March Madness as an 8-seed. 8-seeds do not typically make deep runs, but they proved everyone wrong by making the National Championship.
The Tar Heels ran through the Marquette Golden Eagles 95-63 in the First Round and followed that up with a 93-86 overtime victory over the Baylor Bears.
UNC took on the UCLA Bruins in the Sweet 16 and pulled out a 73-66 win behind Caleb Love’s 30 points. Love played every minute of the game and went 6-13 from behind the three-point line. He had a quieter Elite Eight game against the Saint Peter’s Peacocks. The Tar Heels destroyed Saint Peter’s 69-49, but Love only had 14 points on 6-17 shooting.
It is safe to say that UNC had its toughest Tournament game in the Final Four against the Duke Blue Devils. The Tar Heels beat Duke earlier in the season in Coach K’s final home game, but the Blue Devils were looking for revenge. Duke did not get their revenge and lost 81-77. Caleb Love had another massive game and scored 28 points on 11-20 shooting.
The Kansas Jayhawks have an all-around impressive squad and one of their best teams in years. They had an easy First Round game against the Texas Southern Tigers and won 83-56. That win was followed by a close 79-72 Second Round victory against the injured Creighton Blue Jays.
The Jayhawks faced a tough Providence Friars team in the Sweet 16, and for a moment, it looked like Providence would win. The Friars took a late lead, but Kansas went on a 7-0 run and won 66-61.
Kansas had an interesting Elite Eight matchup in the Miami Hurricanes. The Hurricanes were up 35-29 at the half, but Kansas could not miss in the second half and won 76-50. Ochai Agbaji had a big game and led all Kansas scorers with 18 points.
The Jayhawks took on an impressive Villanova Wildcats team in the Final Four. Villanova was without Justin Moore, but they still had an impressive roster. Kansas jumped out to an early 10-2 lead and went into the half, winning 40-29. Justin Moore’s absence proved to be too much for the Wildcats, and they went down 81-65. David McCormack had his biggest game of the season with 25 points.
UNC is a talented team, but Kansas is too well-rounded not to win this game. I have to go with the safe bet and pick Kansas as the National Champions.
Kansas beats UNC 75-69. Kansas covers, Under 151.5 points.
|Hubert||Head Coach||Bill Self|
|29-9 (15-5, 2nd in ACC)||Standing||33-6 (14-4, 1st in Big 12)|
|Leader (Per Game)|
|Armando Bacot (16.3)||PPG||Ochai Agbaji (18.9)|
|Armando Bacot (13.1)||RPG||Jalen Wilson (7.5)|
|RJ Davis (3.7)||APG||Dajuan Harris Jr. (4.2)|
|RJ Davis (1.1)||SPG||Dajuan Harris Jr. (1.4)|
|Armando Bacot (1.7)||BPG||Mitch Lightfoot (0.9)|
|Armando Bacot (.579)||FG%||Mitch Lightfoot (.658)|
|Brady Manek (.401)||3P%||Jalen Coleman-Lands (.448)|
The UNC Tar Heels are the notable underdogs, but they can win if they protect the rim and create turnovers.
UNC is facing a Kansas team with some big men that make their living at the hoop. That was very noticeable in Kansas’ last game when David McCormack scored 25 points, most of them near the hoop. The UNC defense has to play big near the hoop and force Kansas to look outside for shots.
UNC only averages 5.4 steals per game. They need to be more active in the passing lanes and swipe away the ball from Kansas. If they do, they will limit Kansas’ scoring opportunities.
The Kansas Jayhawks are the favorites and coming off two dominant victories. They need to focus on hitting free throws and winning the rebounding battle.
Kansas shoots pretty well from the free throw line and went 10-13 from the line against Villanova. However, they have struggled at times to convert those opportunities. The Jayhawks need to stay consistent from the line and build a lead by hitting free throws.
UNC has one of the rebounders in the nation in Armando Bacot. Bacot averages 13.1 rebounds per game, the third-best in the nation. Kansas cannot allow him to get offensive rebounds and has to be active on the boards.
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Caleb Love is coming off a 28-point game and is averaging 20 points per game this March. Love has become UNC’s x-factor is his success is critical to UNC’s success.
Love has to hit his shots against Kansas and try to involve his teammates. He can help UNC build a lead with strong play.
David McCormack would not let Kansas lose their last game. His 25 points were a career-high.
McCormack has to keep on getting shots near the hoop. If he does, he will convert the majority of his shots.
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|UNC Tar Heels vs Kansas Jayhawks Information|
|What||UNC Tar Heels vs Kansas Jayhawks|
|Where||Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana|
|When||Monday, April 4, 9:20 PM EST|
|How to Watch||TBS|
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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