2017 NCAA Tournament
#1 North Carolina Tar Heels vs #3 Oregon Ducks
Saturday, April 1, 2017, 8:35 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Arizona
Opening Line: North Carolina -4
Current Line: North Carolina -5
Opening Total: 148 1/2
Current Total: 152 1/2
Opening Money Line: North Carolina -200 / Oregon +175
Current Money Line: North Carolina -215 / Oregon +190
The 31-7 North Carolina Tar Heels are in the Final Four for a record 20th time. The South regional champion Tar Heels look to return to the national championship game after losing to Villanova on a buzzer beater in last year’s game. North Carolina won the region as the #1 seed and will take on the #3 seed Oregon Ducks who won the Midwest regional. Oregon is 33-5 this season and is back in the Final Four for the first time since winning the first ever national championship back in 1939.. The game will take place in Glendale, Arizona. The winner will face either the West Champion #1 Gonzaga or East Champion #7 South Carolina in the championship Monday.
North Carolina leads the series 4-0 against Oregon. The teams last met in the Maui Invitational in 2008. both teams were in the field at this season’s Maui Invitational but did not play against each other. They have never met in the NCAA Tournament.
Oregon is coached by Dana Altman. The Ducks tied with Arizona for the Pac 12 regular season title with a 16-2 record. However, Arizona beat Oregon 83-80 in the Pac 12 Championship game in Las Vegas. Oregon beat #14 seed Iona 93-77 in the first round and #11 seed Rhode Island 75-72 in the second round, both in Sacramento. The Ducks beat #7 Michigan 69-68 in the Sweet 16, and upset the #1 Kansas Jayhawks 74-60 in the regional final last Saturday, both in Kansas City. Oregon is making their 15th appearance in the Tournament including five straight.
Oregon has road losses to Baylor, Colorado, UCLA, plus neutral site losses to Georgetown in Maui and Arizona in Las Vegas. The Ducks have home wins over Valparaiso, Boise State, Alabama, Montana, Fresno State, UCLA, USC, Oregon State, Cal, Stanford, Arizona State, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Oregon has road wins over Washington, Washington State, Utah, USC, Cal, Stanford, and Oregon State, plus neutral site wins over Tennessee and Connecticut in Maui, UNLV in Portland, plus Arizona State and Cal in the Pac 12 tournament in Las Vegas. The Ducks are 21-15-1 ATS and the total is 17-20 this season. Oregon was a 6.5 point underdog against Kansas and the total was 157.5.
North Carolina is coached by Roy Williams. The Tar Heels won the ACC regular season title with a 14-4 record. They beat Miami 78-53 in the ACC quarterfinals in Washington but were upset by Duke 93-83 in the semifinals. UNC crushed #16 seed Texas Southern 103-64 in the first round and #8 Arkansas 72-65 in the second round, both in Greenville, SC. North Carolina beat #4 seed Butler 92-80 in the Sweet 16 and #2 Kentucky 75-73 in the regional Final last Sunday, both in Memphis. The Tar Heels are making their 53rd trip to the tournament anf=d look to return to the title game for the 11th time
North Carolina has road losses to Indiana, Georgia Tech, Miami, Duke, and Virginia, plus a neutral site loss to Kentucky in Las Vegas. The Tar Heels home wins over Chattanooga, Long Beach State, Davidson, Tennessee, Northern Iowa, Monmouth, NC State, Florida State, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Louisville, and Duke. UNC has road wins at Tulane, Hawaii, Clemson, Wake Forest, Boston College, NC State, and Pittsburgh, plus neutral site wins over Oklahoma State and Wisconsin in the Maui Invitational, plus Notre Dame in Greensboro. The Tar Heels are 18-15-3 ATS and the total is 14-21-1 this season. North Carolina was a 2 point favorite against Kentucky and the total was 160.5.
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Oregon is outscoring teams 79-66 this season. The Ducks are #44 or better in both categories nationally. The Ducks are shooting 48.4% from the field and 37.9% from 3 point range. Oregon is #19 in field goal percentage nationally. Oregon makes 70.8% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 40.5% from the field and 31.3% from 3 point range. The Ducks are #26 or better in both categories. Oregon averages 36.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.1 per game. Oregon averages 16.1 assists, 11.7 turnovers, 6.6 steals and 6.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.4 assists, 13.6 turnovers, 4.8 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.
Dillon Brooks averages 16.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Tyler Dorsey averages 14 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Chris Boucher averages 11.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. He is out for the season with a knee injured suffered during the Pac 12 Tournament. Jordan Bell averages 10.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.1 blocks per game. Elgin Cook averages 10.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Payton Pritchard and Casey Benson will also get minutes in the rotation. M.J. Cage is out for the season with a knee injury.
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North Carolina is outscoring teams 85-70 this season. The Tar Heels are #9 nationally in scoring. North Carolina is shooting 47.2% from the field including 36.6% from 3 point range. UNC is #43 nationally in field goal percentage. The Tar Heels make 70.6% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 41.5% from the field and 34% from 3 point range. UNC is in the top 35 nationally in both categories. The Tar Heels average 43.8 rebounds per game and allow 27.4. UNC is #1 nationally in rebounding and #9 in rebounds allowed. The Tar Heels average 18.2 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 6.9 steals and 3.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.5 assists, 13.6 turnovers, 6.3 steals and 4.5 blocks per game.
Justin Jackson averages 18.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. Joel Barry II averages 14.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He is probable with injuries to both ankles. Kennedy Meeks averages 12.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1 block per game. Isaiah Hicks averages 12.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Tony Bradley averages 7.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Four other Tar Heels average at least 14 minutes per game. Kenny Williams is out for the season with a knee injury.
Oregon is 6-1 ATS as an NCAA Tournament underdog, 11-2 as an underdog of less than 6.5 points, 5-1 as a neutral site underdog, 4-1 as an NCAA Tournament underdog of less than 6.5 points, 10-3 in Saturday games, 12-4 after a cover, 10-4-1 in NCAA Tournament games, 17-7-1 overall, 38-16 as an underdog, 2-5-1 against teams with winning records, 1-3-1 after a win, and 1-4 against ACC teams.
UNC is 7-1 ATS against Pac 12 teams, 4-1-1 in non-conference games, 6-2-1 in NCAA Tournament games, 21-7-3 as a neutral site favorite, 6-2-1 as an NCAA Tournament favorite, 7-3-2 as a favorite, overall and against teams with winning records, and 1-3-1 as a favorite of less than 6.5 points.
Many thought Oregon was in trouble when forward Chris Boucher was lost for the season with an injury during the Pac 12 tournament. They don’t have much of a post presence without him. It wasn’t a factor against Kansas who plays four guards most of the time. However, it could come into play against North Carolina. Berry has two bad ankles and it could be an issue especially on defense. I like the Tar Heels to escape with a close win though.