Kansas Jayhawks vs. North Carolina Tar Heels
The Kansas Jayhawks and the North Carolina Tar Heels battle it out on Sunday in St. Louis in an Elite Eight game of the NCAA Tournament with the winner heading to New Orleans for the Final Four. The Jayhawks are -2 point favorites over the Tar Hells with an over/under point total set at 144.
The Kansas Jayhawks haven’t made it look easy this season nor in the NCAA Tournament but Bill Self’s team has made it this far and as long as they are still paying the have a chance to win the Nation Championship. Kansas defeated Detroit by 15 points in the first round and then followed that up with three point wins over Purdue and NC State. Against NC State Thomas Robinson had 18 points and 15 rebounds, Elijah Johnson had 11 points, and Tyshawn Taylor had 10 rebounds and five assists. As a team the Jayhawks shot 37.5 percent from the floor, they were just one of 14 from beyond the three point arc, and they hit 55 percent of their free throws and despite how uninspiring those numbers look on paper they were good enough to get it done. KU is now 6-4 in neutral site games, 5-4 against teams ranked in the top 25, and they played the 17th ranked schedule overall. Kansas hasn’t faced UNC since 2008 but winning championships is nothing new to the Jayhawks or their fans.
The North Carolina Tar Heels survived a scare in their Sweet 16 match up against Ohio and while it took overtime Roy Williams team advanced. The win over Ohio followed up wins against Vermont and Creighton but Ohio gave them all they could handle as the Bobcats rallied from being down double digits. Against Ohio Tyler Zeller had 20 points and 22 rebounds, Reggie Bullock had 17 points and 10 rebounds, John Henson had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Harrison Barnes had 12 points and seven rebounds. As a team the Tar Heels shot 40 percent from the floor, 31.8 percent from beyond the three point line, and 58.3 percent from the free throw line. UNC is 7-2 in neutral site games, 4-5 against teams ranked in the top 25, and they played the ninth ranked schedule in the country this year. UNC was without Kendall Marshall in Friday’s win and they will likely be without him again in this game.
Kansas is 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 NCAA Tournament games, 1-4 against the spread following a win, and 4-9 against the spread in their last 13 games against the ACC. North Carolina is 9-4 against the spread in their last 13 games overall, 13-5 against the spread in their last 18 NCAA Tournament games, and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven non-conference games.
The total for this one is set at 144 and I have it coming in a shade under that number so my pick is on the under.