No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 3 Oregon Preview
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Arizona
When: Saturday, April 1, 2017, 8:49 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
Writer’s Prediction: North Carolina Tar Heels (-5)
College Basketball News and Previews
- 2017 NCAA March Madness Final Four Preview
- Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Preview
- North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Oregon Ducks Preview
Betting on the North Carolina Tar Heels (-5)
North Carolina lost last year’s national championship with a heart-breaking buzzer-beater; this year, they’re back in the Final Four thanks to a miraculous buzzer-beater of their own. Luke Maye’s miracle shot with 0.3 seconds left gave North Carolina the dramatic 75-73 win over Kentucky in the Elite Eight. UNC just pushed as 2-point favorites, and are now 2-1-1 ATS in the tournament.
Maye had another huge game with 17 points, and has become UNC’s secret weapon off the bench. He had 16 points and 12 rebounds in the Sweet 16 against Butler. With Joel Berry struggling, he provided enough support for Justin Jackson, who led the team with 19 points, and Kennedy Meeks, who was monstrous inside with 7 points, 17 rebounds, and 4 blocks.
Everyone knows about UNC’s high-scoring offense, which is averaging 85.5 points and can score against just about any defense in the country. But don’t discount the team’s defense. The Tar Heels held Kentucky’s terrific backcourt of De’Andre Fox and Malik Monk to just 25 points on 9-of-24 shooting.
North Carolina was once again able to stamp its authority inside, as it won the rebounding battle over Kentucky, 44-34. The Tar Heels should continue enjoying the advantage in that part of the game as they face a shallow and undersized Oregon team that’s missing injured 7-footer Chris Boucher.
Betting on the Oregon Ducks (+5)
The Oregon Ducks are back in the Final Four for the first time since winning the inaugural NCAA tournament back in 1939. The Ducks looked mighty impressive in stamping their ticket to Arizona as they rocked the Kansas Jayhawks, 74-60, and improved to 3-1 ATS in the tournament.
Oregon’s outstanding trio of Tyler Dorsey, Dillon Brooks, and Jordan Bell continued their excellent tournament with fantastic performances against Kansas.
Dorsey had 27 points and 6 3s, and is now averaging 24.5 points and shooting 67 percent from the field in the tourney. Jordan Bell picked up his third double-double in four games with 11 points, 13 boards, and 8 blocks. Meanwhile, star forward Dillon Brooks is averaging 16.5 points and is arguably the team’s third-best player in the tournament.
The 6-9 Bell has been magnificent in holding down the interior for the Ducks in Chris Boucher’s absence. However, he will have easily his toughest test of the tournament against UNC’s size and depth.
The Ducks will have to compensate by winning the battle along the perimeter with Brooks and Dorsey. Those two completely outplayed the Kansas’ dynamic duo of Frank Mason and Josh Jackson in the previous round, and should be prepared to go toe-to-toe with Joel Berry and Justin Jackson.
North Carolina (-5) makes its advantage inside count as the Tar Heels beat Oregon to make it back to the title game.
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