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North Carolina Tar Heels vs Kansas Jayhawks Betting Preview

After a grueling tournament that started with 68 teams, we are now down to two. On Monday, the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels (29-9) will square off with the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks (33-6) for the National Championship. This game will be played at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, with tipoff scheduled for 9:20 pm ET.

Neither of these teams are strangers to National Championships. North Carolina is looking for their seventh championship after winning in 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009, and 2017. The Tar Heels also won the Helms championship in 1924.

For North Carolina, they are coming off an emotional win in the semifinals as they beat their archrival, the Duke Blue Devils, 81-77 on Saturday.

In the win, Caleb Love had a game-high 28 points while Armando Bacot had a double-double with 11 points and 21 rebounds.

Having won the tournament in 1952, 1988, and 2008, the Jayhawks will be looking for their fourth tournament championship. They did win two Helms Championships in 1922 and 1923.

For Bill Self’s Kansas team, their Final Four game was a little less thrilling as they were able to pull away from Villanova for a 81-65 victory.

David McCormack had a game-high 25 points while Ochai Agbaji added 21 for the Jayhawks. Kansas was especially hot from the outside, where they went 13 for 24 from three (54.2%).

The Jayhawks are the favorites Monday night. They are -184 to win while the Tar Heels’ moneyline sits at +152. The spread features North Carolina +4 (-105), and the over/under for total points sits at 152.5.

By The Numbers

These have been two of the best offenses in college basketball this season. Kansas ranks 16th overall averaging 78.4 points per game. The Tar Heels rank 19th averaging 78.1 points.

Defensively, Kansas again has the edge. They rank 102nd in scoring defense allowing opponents an average of 67.2 points per game. North Carolina ranks 220th allowing 71.3 points.

North Carolina Looking To Make History

The lowest seed to ever make it to a National Championship game is a No. 8 seed, which has now happened only four times. On Monday, the Tar Heels will look to make history by joining the 1985 Villanova Wildcats to become only the second No. 8 seed to ever win it all.

Despite not even finishing the regular season ranked in the top-25, the Tar Heels have been on an absolute roll this tournament beating No. 9 Marquette, No. 1 Baylor, No. 4 UCLA, No. 15 Saint Peter’s, and No. 2 Duke.

On Monday, they will look to bring a championship home in head coach Hubert Davis’ first year as head coach.

The Tar Heels are led by Armando Bacot, who is averaging a double-double this season with 16.3 points and 13.1 rebounds per game. He is also averaging 1.5 steals and 1.7 blocks.

Bacot doesn’t have to do it alone, though. Caleb Love (16 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists), Brady Manek (15.2 points, 5.9 rebounds), and R.J. Davis (13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists) have been sensational this season as well.

Kansas Looks To Stay Hot

For as much success as his programs seem to have, it is surprising that Kansas’ head coach Bill Self only has one championship. On Monday, a red hot Kansas team will try to add a second to his resume.

Not only are the Jayhawks undefeated in their last ten games, but they are 10-1 in their last 11 games against ACC teams. Furthermore, when playing as the favorite, they are 7-2 against the spread in their last nine games. Kansas will hope to keep these trends going against the Tar Heels.

Senior guard Ochai Agbaji has been sensational this season for Self. He is averaging 18.9 points on 47.6 percent shooting, including 41.1 percent from behind the arc. In addition to his scoring, Agbaji is also averaging 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

Other significant contributors for the Jayhawks include Christian Braun (14.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists), Jalen Wilson (11 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists), David McCormack (10.5 points, 6.9 rebounds), and Remy Martin (8.4 points, three rebounds, 2.6 assists).

Take North Carolina And The Points

With how both of these teams have played this tournament, this is setting up to be one heck of a National Championship game.

For the Tar Heels, one of the biggest questions will be how they respond after such an emotional win over Duke. While you would like to think that any team would be able to get up for a title game, it may be hard for North Carolina with just one day off to decompress after knocking out their biggest rivals.

For Kansas, they are going to have to figure out a way to slow Armando Bacot down in the post. He has 15 or more rebounds in his last four games and has back-to-back games of 22 and 21 rebounds. If he is able to control the glass on both sides of the floor, it could be a long night for the Jayhawks.

Expect this game to be close throughout as it has the potential to be an instant classic. For that reason, take the points. In this case, that means taking North Carolina +4.

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