NCAA Final Picks: North Carolina Tar Heels vs Kansas Jayhawks – O'Sullivan-Baller Challenge too close to call

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Kansas Jayhawks, 9:20 pm Eastern.
Caleb Love with the dagger.
Caleb Love with the dagger.@UNC_Basketball on Twitter

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O'Sullivan NCAA Tournament: 39-30, +$6.58

Baller NCAA Tournament: 36-32, -$10.90

Follow us on Twitter: @OSullyPicks, @Fats_Baller

(Standing Caveat: The universe is chaotic. Life is unpredictable. Things happen. Like injuries. And COVID protocols. In following Seattle O’Sullivan’s betting advice, be advised that you should always monitor your bets during the day to make certain unforeseen things have not occurred which might change your wagering opinion. Thank you.)

Saturday Results

Villanova Wildcats vs. Kansas Jayhawks, 6:09 pm Eastern

O'Sullivan's Pick: Kansas -4.5 (-109), bet $10.90 to win $10

WIN: Kansas covers, winning 81-65, +$10

Baller's Pick: Villanova +4.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10

LOSS: Villanova does not cover, losing 81-65, -$11


North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils, 8:49 pm Eastern

O'Sullivan's Pick: Duke -190, bet $19 to win $10

LOSS: Duke loses 81-77, -$19

Baller's Pick: North Carolina +4 (-110), bet $11 to win $10

WIN: North Carolina covers 81-77, +$10

Monday NCAA Final Picks

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Kansas Jayhawks, 9:20 pm Eastern

O'Sullivan's Pick: Kansas -180, bet $18 to win $10

Baller's Pick: North Carolina +170, $10 to win $17

O'Sullivan: North Carolina bested Duke on Saturday in an all-time classic game by hitting big three-pointers when it counted and by rebounding the basketball. The Tar Heels killed the Blue Devils on the glass, 50-41. Armando Bacot snagged 42% of those 50 rebounds (21). However, he also snagged his ankle late in the game and will be hobbling a bit tonight. I’m sure Bacot will give it his all, but going up against Kansas’s frontcourt duo of David McCormack and Mitch Lightfoot on a gimpy leg will be too much for him to overcome. McCormack dominated against Villanova on Saturday, and North Carolina’s frontcourt isn’t that much better than the Wildcats’. Kansas will have no trouble matching North Carolina’s pace, and Bill Self will make sure that Bacot gets in foul trouble. I’ve been saying North Carolina was better than advertised all year, and anyone thinking their win over Duke was a huge upset doesn’t understand that rivalry and hasn’t watched Hubert Davis’s team for the past two months. But the energy expended in beating Duke, combined with Bacot being less than 100%, will help the more talented Jayhawks take the crown tonight.

Baller: After at least one wager on every Tournament game, I'm $17.48 down to O'Sullivan with one to play. As the rules set a $20 max bet per game, if Kansas wins, I'm toast, even if the Tar Heels cover. So I'm going all in on UNC and now I'm going to justify it. My colleague/rival loves those Pomeroy numbers so . . . Kansas's road to the final includes wins over 187, 50, 32, 41 and 10 Villanova (but without a Nova starting guard). North Carolina has beaten 56, 4, 11, 102, and 8, taking down teams that play different styles in Baylor, UCLA and red-hot Saint Peter's and then going to war with Duke. They're battle-tested, their guards are playing great and Armando Bacot has been rebounding against everybody. They may wear out, but by the second half it's all adrenalin anyway.

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