It has all come down to this. The NCAA men’s basketball season is just one game away from wrapping up. The North Carolina Tar Heels and the Kansas Jayhawks will face off in the last game of March Madness, the game that decides it all. If the way these two teams played in the Final Four is any indication, basketball fans – as well as sports bettors – are in for a very interesting game.
Two Teams With History
In 1957, Kansas and North Carolina met for the first time in the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament’s first triple-overtime finals match was held in 1957. The Tar Heels won the game 54-53. Tonight’s match will be their seventh in the tournament. Kansas has four wins and Carolina has three consecutive wins.
With a convincing 81-65 win against Villanova, Kansas (33-6) advanced to the national title game. The Jayhawks have the chance to win their first national title since 2008. This would be Coach Bill Self’s second. Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack and 46 points combined against the Wildcats were enough to lead a dominant Kansas team.
North Carolina (29-9) continued its impressive run by winning 81-77 against the Duke Blue Devils and Mike Krzyzewski’s last game. Hubert Davis, the Tar Heels’ first-year coach, has the chance to lead them to their seventh national title. Caleb Love scored 28 and Armando Bacot had 11.
How They Got Here
Kansas won the first game of Saturday’s Final Four. They led the way from the beginning and never looked back after a 10-0 start in their win over Villanova in last week’s national semifinal. The Wildcats were without Justin Moore, a scoring threat that could have spread the floor against Kansas’ tough low-post defense.
Krzyzewski, the legendary Duke coach, was terminated Saturday night when North Carolina won their Final Four matchup 81-77. The game was close throughout, with no team leading by more than seven points. Caleb Love won the game for Tar Heels by hitting a three-pointer with eight seconds remaining and then making two clutch free throws to seal the win for his team.
Davis is the fifth coach to take a team to the NCAA Finals in its first season. His team seeks to win its third championship since 2010. As the only coach to win a title their first year, he has the chance to be joined by Steve Fisher and the 1989 Michigan Wolverines.
What’s In Store
It’s almost impossible not to win the points with North Carolina, despite the small margin. In five of their tournament games, the Tar Heels have covered at least eight points more than the spread. UNC is also 5-1 ATS in their five neutral site games. They have won five consecutive matchups as an Underdog.
In the tournament, the Jayhawks are only 3-1 against the spread. Kansas was unable to win close matches against Creighton and Providence in round two.
Although the Jayhawks are the healthier team, it is almost impossible to wager against the team that defeated the top-seeded champions. Baylor was the number-one seed in Round 32, but the Tar Heels are proving themselves. They will continue their hot streak of covering games in this tournament’s final. It will be a close battle as the Tar Heels will keep their hot shooting going to win the close victory.