National Championship Preview
April 4, 9:20 pm ET, Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
North Carolina- 8 Seed (East Region) 29-9 overall
Kansas- 1 Seed (Midwest Region) 33-6 overall
Why North Carolina will win
The Tar Heels have already knocked off a number 1 seed from the Big 12 defeating Baylor 93-86 in the round of 32. As well as they have played all tournament there is no reason to believe they can’t do it again. Improvement on the defensive end continues to be a major factor in the team’s success holding Duke to 5 of 22 (22.7%) from the three point line in the semifinal win. They now rank inside the top 140 in opponent shooting percentage after being outside the top 200 entering the ACC Tournament. If the game is close late North Carolina has the edge in free throw shooting.
Why Kansas will win
After looking just okay the first three and a half games of the tournament the Jayhawks have hit their stride since trailing Miami by 6 at halftime of the Elite 8. The offense scored 81 points on Villanova’s stingy defense shooting just under 54% from the field and hitting 13 of 24 three pointers in their 16 point semifinal win. Four out of five starters reached double figures in scoring and all five had a least one assist and 18 collectively for the game. They also made 10 of 13 at the free throw line which has been their one flaw throughout the year. The edge in depth definitely goes to Kansas and after another big win over their archrival how much will North Carolina have left in the tank.
Key to the Game
Armando Bacot’s ankle. The junior forward rolled his ankle late in the win over Duke. He did come back in the game but and is expected to play against Kansas but will the ankle be an issue? Depth is already a concern for the Tar Heels and they need their starters to be at full strength to have a chance against Kansas.
Eye Test Analytics Predicted Score- Kansas by 4.72 points