Monday night’s Men’s NCAA Tournament National Championship will be the second-ever between a No. 1 seed and a No. 8 seed when Kansas takes on North Carolina in New Orleans. Here are BetPrep’s key trends for tonight’s title game.
All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 10:45 a.m ET on April 4.
No. 8 North Carolina (+4) vs. No. 1 Kansas
Monday, 9:20 p.m. ET, TBS (O/U: 110)
The last time an eight seed faced a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament was in 1985, the first year that the NCAA Tournament expanded to feature 64 teams. That year, eighth-seeded Villanova won its first-ever championship by taking down the then-powerhouse Georgetown Hoyas, led by Patrick Ewing. The Tar Heels will be seeking their seventh NCAA Tournament title, while Kansas will make its first championship game appearance since losing to Kentucky in 2012.
According to ESPN Stats & Informational Group, tonight will mark the third time that a pair of teams have met multiple times for a national title. In the previous two instances, the team that won the first title game also won the second. While North Carolina did beat Wilt Chamberlain and Kansas 54-53 in three overtimes in the first title meeting between these two teams, that game occurred in 1957.
Since Bill Self took over at Kansas in 2003, the Jayhawks have played the Tar Heels three times and KU won all three meetings. All three, by the way, came in the NCAA Tournament. Self also has 49 more NCAA Tournament wins than UNC Head coach Hubert Davis, which is the fifth-largest gap between coaches entering the National Championship game all time.
The favorite has covered in three of the past four Men’s NCAA Tournament National Championship games, although Baylor did beat Gonzaga outright as a 4.5-point favorite in last year’s title game. Based on recent championship game trends, the Under has also been profitable, cashing in three of the last four title games and in five of the last seven championship matchups overall. Since 2010, the Under is 8-2. (There was no national championship game played in 2020 due to COVID).
From an advanced metrics standpoint, Kansas has the edge in tonight’s matchup. The Jayhawks rank 6th in offensive efficiency and 17th in defensive efficiency, whereas the Tar Heels are 18th in offensive efficiency and 39th in defensive efficiency. KU is also the No. 3-ranked team overall at KenPom, while UNC is 16th.
North Carolina Key Trends
The Tar Heels are a perfect 5-0 ATS in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
UNC is 12-3-1 ATS in its last 16 games when facing an opponent with a winning record.
The Over is 5-2 in the Tar Heels’ last seven NCAA Tournament games.
Kansas Key Trends
The Jayhawks are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games overall.
Kansas is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games versus an opponent with a winning percentage above .600.
The Over is 6-2 in the Jayhawks’ last eight games following an ATS win.