UNC vs Kansas Prediction: Should You Back North Carolina?

It's all come down to one game for the National Championship. Should you back the underdog UNC Tar Heels tonight?
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UNC vs Kansas Prediction: Should You Back North Carolina?

It's safe to say that the North Carolina Tar Heels were under-seeded coming into the tournament. They've proven it with three huge wins as an underdog, putting together quite an impressive tournament resumé.

UNC has now taken down 1-seed Baylor, 4-seed UCLA, and 2-seed Duke on their way to the title game. Each of these squads finished the season ranked in the top 12 in the final AP poll, all carrying strong title aspirations of their own. Carolina has proved there isn't an opponent or a stage too big for them, and the Kansas Jayhawks could be the final domino to fall for UNC's championship run this season.

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North Carolina Moneyline @ +170 (Bet $100 to win $170)

*Odds Available at Caesar's Sportsbook at Time of Publishing*

After UNC produced yet another impressive performance on a massive stage on Saturday night, I expected a line much closer to even odds for the title game. But +170 for North Carolina to win feels like a terrific value.

The Tar Heels rely on their offense, which is potentially the most balanced attack of any team in college basketball. Per KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency, UNC holds the 17th-ranked offense among the 68 teams that qualified for this year's tourney. Meanwhile, Kansas comes in at sixth. However, this doesn't necessarily indicate that their scoring will hold up as well as Carolina's on Monday night.

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UNC is superior when it comes to three-point shooting, free-throw shooting, and reliable backcourt production. The Tar Heels shot the same percentage as Kansas from behind the arc, yet did so on 4 more attempts per contest. Caleb Love and RJ Davis make up the best backcourt scoring duo in the nation, as both guards have proven their ability to create shots off the dribble and knock down threes at a high clip. 5th-year senior Brady Manek has also delivered countless timely buckets, while center Armando Bacot was the team's leading scorer and also top three in all of college basketball in rebounds per game.

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Opposing defenses haven't found an answer for the NBA-bound Caleb Love more than anyone else on the roster. Love dropped 30 against UCLA and 28 in the win over Duke, including 22 in the second half plus a dagger three-ball late in the game. Manek, on the other hand, is scoring 20.0 PPG in the tournament. The shot-creation from Love, which is superior to that of any Kansas player, and Manek's knockdown shooting have spearheaded an elite offensive attack that the Jayhawks may struggle to keep up with.

Both of these squads have dominated for the last two months, as UNC is 17-3 in their last 20 games and Kansas is 16-4 during the same stretch. Both teams like to push the pace and play fast, which is especially perfect for North Carolina's offense. Where Kansas only has two high-level shot creators, the Tar Heels have three in addition to one of the country's best big men.

After ending Coach K's career on Saturday, UNC certainly has what it takes to upset coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks in the final game of the season. Their offensive firepower will be the difference, and I love the value on North Carolina ML at +170.

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Gray is a massive New York sports fan, and is an NBA & NFL oracle. He’s a passionate writer with a strong background in statistics, and loves putting out player props! You can follow him on Twitter @PropBetGuru.

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