There is little doubt that the Tar Heels and Bulldogs are the best teams in the US. It’s no surprise to see that the only two teams that remain will clash in this titanic game when for the second time in three years, two No. 1 seeds will square off for the men’s college basketball championship, as the North Carolina Tar Heels (32-7) are listed as small favorites against the Gonzaga Bulldogs (37-1) in the madness that is extending to April.
The Tar Heels are making their second consecutive appearance in the Division I title game after losing to the Villanova Wildcats last year on a game-winning shot at the buzzer that prevented them from winning their sixth NCAA championship.
UNC’s combination of board dominance and Justin Jackson’s offensive creativity have made the team a handful for any opponent this season. Senior Kennedy Meeks has been maybe the most important player, as his paint presence has helped UNC become the best rebounding team in the country.
Gonzaga has been one of the most efficient teams in the country thanks to their frontcourt depth and the passing abilities of All-American Nigel Williams-Goss. Though Spokane, Washington legend Przemek Karnowski has not looked phenomenal during the tourney, backup Zach Collins has cemented himself as a first-round pick in the draft.
Point spread: The Tar Heels opened as two-point favorites; while the total is at 154.5.
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North Carolina was a No. 1 seed a year ago too, and that experience of two straight trips to the Final Four and the hunger to win it all after falling just short last season is a clear advantage.
The Tar Heels are also an impressive 7-2 straight up and against the spread in their last nine games as favorites of two points or less. They are coming off a 77-76 win over the third-seeded Oregon Ducks out of the Midwest Region on Saturday with their defense and rebounding being the difference, but they failed to cover the spread as 4.5-point chalk.
Gonzaga is trying to cash in on its first-ever trip to the Final Four by cutting down the nets against a North Carolina team that has some offensive weaknesses. The Tar Heels shot only 36.8 percent from the field versus the Ducks, while the Bulldogs made 48.3 percent in a 77-73 win over the seventh-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks out of the East Region on Saturday.
Like North Carolina, Gonzaga also did not cover as a 6.5-point favorite at online betting sites, with South Carolina using a 16-0 run to turn a 65-51 deficit into a 67-65 lead with a little more than seven minutes remaining. Regardless, the Bulldogs have weathered the storm from multiple opponents in the Big Dance and still keep winning.
North Carolina has now dodged bullets two games in a row, and Gonzaga will make sure it does not happen a third straight time. Nigel Williams-Goss has been the best player in the tournament for the Bulldogs, and he will take advantage of a gimpy Joel Berry II for the Tar Heels to lead his school to their first-ever national championship in their first game as underdogs all season. This is your last chance to win in the madness, sign up at BetRegal.com and get the best lines.