After an exciting, upset-filled start to the NCAA Tournament, the action culminates with the National Championship game between Kansas and North Carolina. Let’s break down the top college basketball picks and NCAAB picks today for Monday, April 4.
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NCAAB Picks: Final Four College Basketball Predictions
Best NCAAB Picks: North Carolina -+4.5
After knocking off Creighton, Providence, Miami and Villanova, Kansas now draws their toughest test against North Carolina. Eighth-seeded North Carolina also ran through Marquette, Baylor, UCLA, Saint Peter’s and now Duke to punch their tickets to the finals. At first glance, Kansas appears to hold multiple edges here. The Jayhawks outrank the Tar Heels in terms of both offensive and defensive efficiency. However, North Carolina has turned a corner since March. According to BartTorvik, North Carolina is the number one team in the country since the beginning of the month. Now catching 4.5 points, North Carolina remains an attractive play against the spread.
In addition to their red-hot play of late, North Carolina presents a tricky stylistic matchup for Kansas. Interestingly, Kansas has yet to face a team with North Carolina’s combination of skill and size in the frontcourt. The Tar Heels ranks 4th in rebounding and 24th in effective height, while Kansas ranks 35th in rebounding and 138th in effective height. Much of this advantage comes through Armando Bacot. Averaging a double-double on the year, better frontcourts have struggled to stop Bacot. This includes a Duke team with multiple bigs. In that game, Bacot notched 21 rebounds in just 32 minutes played.
Outside of their superior height and skill, North Carolina also draws fouls at a much higher rate than Kansas. Referencing the Duke game again, both Theo John and Mark Williams struggled with foul trouble against Bacot on the interior. North Carolina also rarely commits fouls themselves, while Kansas ranks outside the top 250 in drawing them.
Even Kansas’ excellent defense has potential holes. David McCormack provides size in the post, but he has been taken advantage of via ball screens in the past. On top of forcing Kansas to use a particular set of players, North Carolina can use their ball screens to weaken Kansas’ 17th-ranked 3-point defense. Evidenced by Villanova’s recent exploitation of this very weakness, Kansas could struggle with the lights out 3-point shooting of Caleb Love, R.J. Davis, and Brady Manek here.
For those betting this game, Bacot’s status should monitored after a late ankle sprain in the Final Four. At this time, all signs point to a healthy Bacot, making the Tar Heels the sharp side of the National Championship.
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More College Basketball Picks
For more action on today’s college basketball slate, take a look at the Awesemo CBB DFS page. All of Matt’s CBB picks for daily fantasy college basketball are there, as are CBB DFS Cheat Sheets for DraftKings and FanDuel.
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