2022 March Madness Prediction
NCAA Basketball March Madness Predictions 2022
The North Carolina Tar Heels ruined the dream ending for Coach K and Duke. Now they are one win away from their own Hollywood finish.
Even though North Carolina is one of the most ballyhooed college basketball programs in the country, it entered March Madness as only a No. 8 seed after a topsy-turvy regular season.
UNC has looked like the Tar Heels of old throughout the tournament and will now aim to claim the national championship in a showdown against the Kansas Jayhawks on Monday, April 3, 2022 at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
North Carolina is hoping to tie the record for the lowest seed to win the title, following No. 8 Villanova in 1985. The Tar Heels beat the Blue Devils, 81-77, in a thrilling Final Four clash on Saturday and will need to re-focus quickly in order to knock off the favored Jayhawks for the championship.
Kansas is a No. 1 seed and will look to take care of business much like it did on Saturday, as it breezed past Villanova, 81-65, in its semifinal round.
National Championship Game Tournament Info
Date, Time, Location: North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Kansas Jayhawks will be played on Monday, April 4, 2022 at 9:20 p.m. ET at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
2022 March Madness National Championship Odds
Spread: Kansas -4.5
Moneyline: Kansas -190; North Carolina +155
The Jayhawks aren’t overwhelming favorites, but they are the team to beat as they have a more impressive body of work this season than North Carolina. The Tar Heels, though, are playing very well in the tournament and many bettors will be riding with them after such a high-profile win over Duke and retiring coach Mike Krzyzewskiin the Final Four.
Kansas was +180 to win the national title heading into the Final Four, which were the second-best odds behind Duke. Now the Jayhawks are the clear favorites as they prepare for their tussle with North Carolina. North Carolina had the longest odds to win the tournament of the Final Four teams at +500 but upset the Blue Devils to give itself a legitimate title shot.
North Carolina big man Armando Bacot twisted his ankle in the second half against Duke and briefly left the game. He later returned before fouling out. Coach Hubert Davis said the ankle is sore but that Bacot plans to play against Kansas.
Bacot is a huge part of North Carolina’s attack, as he averages 16.3 points and 13.1 rebounds per game. Bacot had 11 points and 21 rebounds against Duke.
National Championship Favorite Bets
Kyle Odegard’s National Championship Prediction
The beauty of high-profile games is all of the different wagers that are available. This one is no different, and there are a couple that stand out to me.
First, the standard ones: North Carolina stole the headlines after knocking off Duke in the semifinals, but it was Kansas that was actually the more impressive team in the first game. The Jayhawks are deep and balanced, and it feels like this spread is not big enough.
The Tar Heels may be able to hang tough for a while, but look for Kansas’ offensive efficiency to win out. The Jayhawks are the choice to cover as 4.5-point favorites. Over 152.5 points is the pick on the scoring total because both sides will be happy to push the tempo, and the shooting should be better now that the teams are used to the arena’s sightlines.
As for a bet with some longer odds, we’re looking at the total once again. At BetMGM, there is a wager that asks how many points will be scored in the game (regular time only).
Much of this often comes down to free throws, and provided the losing team is close enough, there could be some major fouling in the final minute to extend the game. After all, the title is on the line, and the losing team isn’t going to go quietly.
That, combined with the offensive capability of both teams, could push the total higher than expected. The best value comes by betting that the game will finish with between 161 and 170 total points. It would take some efficient play from both teams, but pays out nicely at +400 and has a legitimate shot to hit.
Some pundits believe the national championship game will be lower-scoring because players are nervous and won’t be at the top of their game. But these are two storied programs with elite talent, and each side will be ready.
Prepare for a shootout, one which Kansas should win.
National Championship Prediction: Kansas Jayhawks 84, North Carolina Tar Heels 78