Two blue-blood programs with the richest traditions in college basketball will meet with the 2022 NCAA Tournament championship on the line Monday, as No. 8 seed North Carolina and No. 1 seed Kansas take the court at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans in the final college basketball game of the 2021-22 season. A victory would bring UNC’s seventh national title, while a win by Kansas would be the Jayhawks’ fourth national title.
Both are among the sport’s blue-blood programs, but they took decidedly different paths to reach this point. The No. 1 seed Jayhawks shared the Big 12 regular season title, won the Big 12 Tournament and had a favorable path as the top team in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament bracket. KU is led by senior wing Ochai Agbaji and has one of the game’s ultimate wild cards coming off the bench in Arizona State transfer Remy Martin at point guard.
North Carolina struggled during non conference play, was on the NCAA Tournament bubble for most of the ACC season and lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament. But the Tar Heels have hit their stride at the right time to become the third No 8 seed to reach a national title game. Their star tends to be a different player each night, but sophomore guard Caleb Love has been shining bright as of latent was particularly clutch in Saturday’s night’s Final Four win over Duke.
With both teams firing on all cylinders offensively and the sport’s ultimate prize on the line, Monday’s title game figures to be a thriller.
How to watch Kansas vs. North Carolina
Date: Monday, April 4 | Time: 9:20 p.m. ET
Location: Caesars Superdome — New Orleans
TV: TBS | Live stream: March Madness Live
Kansas vs. North Carolina: Need to Knows
About the Jayhawks: The loss of the 2020 NCAA Tournament is not a primary motivation for Kansas, but it’s not lost on anyone around the program that Self and the Jayhawks had the best team in the country at the time that the tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Agbaji, David McCormack and Christian Braun were all part of that team and in this tournament have seen the bracket break their way at nearly every turn. — Chip Patterson
About the Tar Heels: According to BartTorvik.com, where you can not only check out season-long adjusted efficiency numbers but also sort the data set by date, North Carolina is the No. 1 team in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency since March 1. The seven-game run is absolutely up for critique because of the small sample size, but it backs up what our eyes have told us as well. North Carolina may not be the absolute No. 1 team in the country right now, but it’s been playing as well as the best teams in the country since the calendar turned from February to March. The Tar Heels are a No. 8 seed in the tournament but the quality of play represents a team that does not check in as the No. 29 to No. 32 team in the field of 68. Still, the task of winning the next game is the largest at hand. — Patterson
Kansas vs. North Carolina: Predictions
Kansas looked to be in top form Saturday as it not just ousted — but trounced — No. 2 seed Villanova in a dominant showing. Ochai Agbaji was at the peak of his powers, David McCormack owned the paint, and the Jayhawks strutted their way to the national final. UNC, on the other hand, is coming off perhaps the most emotional win of any team in Final Four history after knocking off Duke and ending Coach K’s historic career. Will the Tar Heels be able to keep that momentum going on a short turnaround? I think they’ll be up for the moment to keep this one relatively close, but it’s a tall order to keep it within the 4.5 against this KU team. I’m laying the number. Kyle Boone’s pick: Kansas -4.5
|KAN -4.5||KAN -4.5||KAN -4.5||KAN -4.5||KAN -4.5||KAN -4.5|
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