Kansas vs. UNC Player Prop: Should We Back the Jayhawks' David McCormack?

Kansas Jayhawks vs UNC Tar Heels player prop for the National Championship from Ben Rajavuori. Ben breaks down why you should back the Jayhawks' David McCormack.
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Kansas vs. UNC Player Prop: Should We Back the Jayhawks' David McCormack?

First-year head coach Hubert Davis and the North Carolina Tar Heels have done it. They are in the championship for the twelfth time in program history and will try to win their seventh championship tonight. UNC was an underdog in three rounds, knocking off first-seed Baylor, fourth-seed UCLA, and second-seed Duke in those games. Kansas had a much easier road to the final. They didn't face a first-seed and were favorites in every round, expected to win. The Jayhawks will be looking to win their fourth championship in program history, despite this being their tenth trip. Will Bill Self pick up his second championship at Kansas, or Will Hubert Davis end his historic first-year run with his first championship?

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Kansas vs. UNC Player Prop Breakdown

Frankly, I don't know. The tournament has been highly unpredictable this year, and the line seems to be spot on. I expect Kansas will win this one, especially with Armando Bacot at less than one-hundred percent and perhaps not even playing at all. Kansas is 16-6 in quad-one games this year and has the far better defense. They will also have a significant advantage on the glass if Bacot can't go in this one. However, I will not be placing a bet on the side here, but rather a player prop that has caught my eye.

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David McCormack has been unstoppable in the tournament. He has shot 16-19 from the floor in the last two games, missing three shots in two entire games. He scored 15 against Miami and 25 in the most recent game against Villanova. It's clear his role has increased in the tournament after a few dormant performances in the earlier rounds. Both teams Kansas just played have something in common with North Carolina, and that is the lack of a significant threat in the paint in the backcourt. North Carolina is already an average team at defending the paint, but now add in the fact that North Carolina's go-to big man down low is dealing with an ankle injury, and suddenly the problem looms larger for UNC.

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If Bacot starts in this game, which most expect he will, Bill Self will likely go at him early. Even though his x-rays came back negative, his ankle is not perfect, and he will sadly be dealing with pain, which sucks; I wish we got to see a fully healthy team to battle Kansas, but it's the facts. If Self is wise, his plan will involve a lot of work in the paint early. He utilized the same strategy against the struggling interior defense from Miami and Villanova, and it worked wonders.

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Duke put up 48 points in the paint against UNC, and UNC as a team is allowing teams to shoot 54% under the hoop. David McCormack will be the go-to guy down low for Kansas, and I am confident they will use him early against a banged-up interior. McCormack is averaging 10.5 points on the year, but with two dominant performances over the last few games, it is not too much to ask of him to go an extra point over his season average in this one. Also, both teams like to push the pace, and Kansas alone is 44th in tempo on offense, so a faster tempo will create more scoring opportunities overall. He will hit this line and some.

Kansas vs. UNC Player Prop Pick

Pick: David McCormack O11.5 Points (-111) (Bet $111 to Win $100)

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Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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