Two historic programs steeped in tradition will battle for the 2022 NCAA Tournament Championship on Monday, as No. 1 seed Kansas and No. 8 seed North Carolina take the field at Caesars Superdome in La New Orleans in the final college basketball game of the 2021–22 season. A win would bring UNC’s seventh national title, while a Kansas win would be the Jayhawks’ fourth national title.
Both are part of the sport’s blue blood programs, but they’ve taken decidedly different paths to get to 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’s transfer Remy Martin at point guard.
North Carolina struggled in non-conference play, was in the NCAA Tournament bubble for most of the ACC season, and lost in the conference tournament semifinals. But the Tar Heels hit their stride at just the right time to become the third No. 8 seed to reach a national title game. Their star tends to be a different player every night, but sophomore guard Caleb Love shone brightly as latent was particularly tight in Saturday 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 match is set to be a thriller.
How to watch Kansas vs. North Carolina
Dated: Monday April 4 | Time: 9:20 p.m. ET
Location: Caesars Superdome — New Orleans
TV: TBS | Direct: March Madness Live
Kansas vs. North Carolina: What You Need to Know
About the Jayhawks: Losing the 2020 NCAA Tournament isn’t 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 the tournament was canceled due to of the COVID-19 pandemic. Agbaji, David McCormack and Christian Braun were all part of this squad and in this tournament have seen the bracket smash their way around almost every turn. — Patterson chip
About the Tar Heels: According to BartTorvik.com, where you can not only view adjusted efficiency numbers throughout the season, but also sort the data defined by date, North Carolina is the No. 1 team in the country in terms of offensive effectiveness adjusted since March 1. The seven-running game is absolutely open to criticism due to the small sample size, but it also confirms what our eyes have been telling us. North Carolina may not be the absolute No. 1 team in the country right now, but they’ve been playing as well as the best teams in the country since the schedule moved 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 register as a No. 29 to No. 32 team on the field of 68. Still, the task to win the next game is the greatest at hand. — patterson
Kansas vs North Carolina: Predictions
Kansas looked to be in top form on Saturday as they not only ousted — but beat — No. 2 seed Villanova in a dominating performance. Ochai Agbaji was at the peak of his powers, David McCormack owned the paint, and the Jayhawks fought their way to the National Finals. UNC, on the other hand, is coming off perhaps the most emotional victory of any team in Final Four history after toppling Duke and ending the historic career of Coach K. Will the Tar Heels be able to maintain this momentum in a short time? I think they’ll be ready for now to keep this one relatively close, but it’s a tall order to keep it within 4.5 against this KU team. I put the number. Kyle Boone’s pick: Kansas -4.5
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