- The Kansas Jayhawks are 4-point favorites over the North Carolina Tar Heels in the championship game of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament slated for Monday, April 4
- Both the Jayhawks and Tar Heels are coming into the game without any serious injuries
- Kansas (10 games) and North Carolina (five games) are both riding significant unbeaten runs
The Kansas Jayhawks (33-6, 20-19 ATS) and North Carolina Tar Heels (29-9, 21-16-1 ATS) are considered two of the blue bloods of college basketball. However, perhaps the best news for both schools as they ready to clash in Monday’s championship game of the NCAA Tournament is that neither team has spilled much blood.
Both squads are coming into the title game with relative health for all the key elements of their rosters. Oddsmakers appear to be of the belief that this is advantage Kansas.
Tipoff for Monday’s game at the Caesars Superdome is set for 9:20pm ET. TBS is carrying the broadcast.
North Carolina vs Kansas Injury Report
|North Carolina||Armando Bacot||Will Play||16.3 ppg, 13.1 rpg, 1.5 apg|
|North Carolina||Dawson Garcia||Out||9.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg. 0.7 apg|
|North Carolina||Anthony Harris||Out||2.6 ppg, 0.4 rpg, 0.6 apg|
|Kansas||Bobby Pettiford||Out||1.4 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 0.9 apg|
|Kansas||Kyle Cuffe Jr||Out||N/A|
The injuries came relatively early for both the Jayhawks and Tar Heels this season. Kansas lost freshman point guard Bobby Pettiford for the season in late February. He underwent core surgery. Pettiford was averaging just 1.4 ppg. Freshman shooting guard Kyle Cuffe Jr was redshirted in November.
North Carolina announced in January that backup guard Anthony Harris was finished for the year due to undisclosed reasons. Forward Dawson Garcia left the squad in February due to a family medical issue.
Armando Bacot Injury Status
Walking double-double Armando Bacot suffered a second-half ankle injury in UNC’s Final Four game with Duke, but he returned to that game and will suit up for Monday’s title game.
— MaximBet (@MaximBetUSA) April 3, 2022
Depth a North Carolina Issue
Of that group, Garcia is the most serious absence. The 6-foot-11 sophomore was the only legit backup for post Armando Bacot. Garcia was scoring nine points a game and pulling down 5.5 rebounds for a team with a dearth of bench strength.
In fact, North Carolina’s starters are known as the Iron Five because coach Hubert Davis is so loathe to go to the bench. During their 81-77 semifinal win over Duke, Davis used only three players off his bench for a total of 12 minutes. The Tar Heels got just two points from their bench.
Midwest Region All-Tournament Team 👏
Most Outstanding Player: Remy Martin pic.twitter.com/8PcTGtpFs0
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 27, 2022
By contrast, Jayhawks sixth man Remy Martin is one of the most talented players on the Kansas roster. The graduate student transfer from Arizona State played 21 minutes in the Jayhawks’ semifinal win over Villanova. Martin scored 23 points in the Sweet 16 against Providence and is averaging 13.3 ppg during postseason play.
Kansas can also draw useful bench minutes from 6-foot-10 big man Mitch Lightfoot. He played 10 minutes against Villanova.
March Madness Betting Line Holding Steady
The Jayhawks opened as the 4-point chalk, so there’s been no line movement whatsoever. The NCAAB public betting splits are of mixed emotions. In spread betting, Kansas is drawing 66% of bets and 61% of handle. The moneyline numbers favor North Carolina in both bets (57%) and handle (58%).
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) April 3, 2022
Kansas is 7-2 ATS over the past nine games and suit up Ochai Agbaji, who’s +1200 in the Wooden Award odds. The Jayhawks are 4-1 ATS this season when a favorite of four points or less. North Carolina has won outright the last five games in which the Tar Heels were betting underdogs.
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