After an emotional victory over ACC rivals the Duke Blue Devils, the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels are back in the national title picture after a relatively brief five-year absence. UNC is an underdog against the top-seeed Kansas Jayhawks heading into Monday’s championship game, but has played nothing but stellar basketball in the Big Dance to pose as Kansas’ toughest challenge yet.
Nitrobetting is ready to dish out some timely assists to our bettors all throughout the 2022 March Madness season. This time, let’s explore three reasons why the North Carolina Tar Heels will win the 2022 NCAA Tournament national title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels.
3 Reasons Why the North Carolina Tar Heels Will Win the 2022 NCAA National Championship Game vs. Kansas
Continue Spreading the Love
After draining a late dagger of a three-pointer and finishing with 28 points against Duke, a ton of attention has been thrown at sophomore guard Caleb Love, who’s been knocking down one clutch shot after another at the Big Dance.
Love is averaging a team-high 20 points per game in this year’s national tournament, but North Carolina must not forget to get its other starters involved. The team has done so rather well in the tournament, with at least three of its starters scoring in double digits in all five games. The Tar Heels are (+4) underdogs entering the championship game, but getting the best performances out of their top stars which we’ll cover here will be paramount to completing their magical run to the national title.
Bacot on the Boards
The Tar Heels faced quite a scare late in the second half against Duke when star forward Armando Bacot rolled his ankle by stepping on his own teammate’s foot. The runner-up to the ACC Player of the Year award left the game briefly but jogged back to the sidelines to finish what he started.
Bacot fouled out and clearly lost some of his step after tweaking his ankle, but not before finishing with 11 points and a whopping 21 rebounds. He’s averaging a superb double-double of 16.3 points and 13.1 rebounds per game this season, and his status for the championship game will be a pivotal talking point if he’s not at full strength. Thankfully, Bacot recently confirmed that he’s ready to go for Monday’s showdown.
Don’t Panic, You Have Manek
Beyond Love, Bacot, and RJ Davis (13.5 PPG), UNC’s next biggest threat is 6-foot-9 senior Brady Manek, whose deceptively long range has been in full effect at the Big Dance. The graduating forward has hit at least three three-pointers in each of his five starts of the tournament for a Tar Heels offense that can light it up from deep.
What makes Manek’s involvement in the national title game more intriguing is his prior experience against Kansas. Before transferring to North Carolina, Manek was a budding player from Oklahoma who’s fought the Jayhawks eight times in his young career. His familiarity against his former rivals from Lawrence should give the Tar Heels an inside track as for how to best tackle Kansas’ stingy defense ahead.
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