Kansas Favored Over UNC

One of college basketball’s blue bloods will win yet another NCAA title when No. 8 North Carolina and No. 1 Kansas meet in Monday’s 2022 national championship game.

The Tar Heels are on the verge of becoming the lowest seed to ever win the NCAA Tournament, but the betting odds suggest that they’ll come up just short of making March Madness history.

Kansas is a four-point favorite over North Carolina in the national championship game, according to the latest odds at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Jayhawks are -190 favorites to win outright. The Tar Heels have +160 odds to pull off the upset.

Those odds are far from insurmountable, and North Carolina has been winning games that it wasn’t supposed to throughout the 2022 NCAA Tournament. After upsetting defending champion No. 1 Baylor and No. 4 UCLA in the East Region, North Carolina beat rival No. 2 Duke in the Final Four.

The Blue Devils entered the Final Four as the favorites to win the championship. Caleb Love’s 28 points and Armando Bacot’s 21 rebounds powered North Carolina past a team filled with NBA talent, ending Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching career on the sport’s biggest stage.

A couple of hours before North Carolina beat Duke 81-77, Kansas defeated No. 2 Villanova 81-65 in the Final Four. The Jayhawks made easy work of the Wildcats behind 25 points from David McCormack. First-Team All-American Ochai Agbaji scored 21 points on just eight field-goal attempts.

Villanova had held all of its March Madness opponents to 61 points or fewer before Kansas shot 53.7% from the field and 54.2% from three-point range.

The only No. 1 seed to make it beyond the Sweet Sixteen, Kansas has played like college basketball’s best team on the road to the national championship game. The Jayhawks’ five NCAA Tournament wins have come by an average of 16.2 points per game.

North Carolina can win the title with the way its offense has played over the last few weeks. Love has made as many big shots as any player in March Madness. Both Love and Brady Manek are averaging 20.0 points per game. RJ Davis has been one of the county’s best point guards.

Bacot continues to give North Carolina second chances with his offensive rebounding, but it’s unknown how effective he’ll be after suffering an ankle injury against Duke. If Bacot is hampered at all, Kansas could have a significant advantage inside.

McCormack has raised his game with 40 points on 16-of-19 shooting in the last two contests. Point guard Remy Martin has been an X-factor off the bench. Agbaji is the best player on either team. The Jayhawks consistently find open looks on offense and play stellar defense.

The Tar Heels have a chance to become the first No. 8 seed in 37 years to win the NCAA championship, but Kansas is likely to cut down the nets Monday night.

Prediction: Kansas over North Carolina, 77-70


Kansas basketball

Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

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