North Carolina vs. Kansas odds, picks, predictions for 2022 national championship game


No. 1 Kansas takes on No. 8 North Carolina in the national championship game of the 2022 men’s basketball tournament Monday. 

The game is at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. Tip off is scheduled for 9:20 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on TBS. 

Kansas (33-6) advanced to the national championship game with an impressive 81-65 victory against Villanova. The Jayhawks are in position to win their first national championship since 2008, which would be the second for coach Bill Self. Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack combined for 46 points against the Wildcats and will look to power a dominant Kansas team. 

North Carolina (29-9) continued its impressive run with an 81-77 victory against No. 2 Duke in Mike Krzyzewski’s final game. First-year coach Hubert Davis has a chance to lead the Tar Heels to their seventh national championship. Caleb Love scored 28 points, and Armando Bacot had 11 points and 21 rebounds in the semifinal. 

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Here’s everything to know about betting on Kansas vs. North Carolina in the 2022 NCAA Tournament, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for the national championship:  

Kansas vs. North Carolina odds    

  • Spread: Kansas -4.5
  • Over/under: Kansas -200, North Carolina +162
  • Moneyline: 153

The Jayhawks are favored between four and 4.5 points across early lines, but that could tip back a half point before tipoff given the Tar Heels hot streak. Watch betting trends at Sports Interaction. 

Three betting trends to watch 

— The Jayhawks have won 10 straight games and are 7-3 ATS in those games. Kansas is 6-2 S/U and 5-3 ATS when favored by less than five points. 

— North Carolina is 9-1 S/U and 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games. The Tar Heels are 5-4 S/U and 5-4 ATS as an underdog of five points or less. 

— Be careful with the over. Six of Kansas’ last 10 games have hit the under, and North Carolina has gone over in six of its last 10 games. It’s the popular play, but it could be tight. 

Final Four history 

Kansas is in the Final Four for the 16th time in school history, and they are in the championship game for the 10th time in school history. The Jayhawks won national championships in 1952, 1988 and 2008. 

North Carolina is making a record 21st Final Four appearance. The Tar Heels are trying to win their seventh national championship. North Carolina won national titles in 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009 and 2017. 

Kansas key players  

Agbaji leads the Jayhawks with 18.9 points per game. The 6-foot-5 guard had his best shooting night of the tournament against Villanova. Christian Braun (14.2) remains an active guard who averages 6.5 rebounds. Jalen Wilson (11.0 ppg) is a swingman who creates mismatches on the perimeter. David McCormack (10.5 ppg) had a dominant performance against Villanova in the post. Dajuan Harris (5.5 ppg) and reserve Remy Martin (8.8 ppg) continue to split time at point guard. 

DECOURCY: Agbaji sends Kansas to ‘Monday night’

North Carolina key players  

Bacot, a 6-10 forward, had a record-setting performance in the semifinal matchup with 21 rebounds. He averages 16.3 points and 13 rebounds per game. Love (16.3 ppg) coupled that with hot shooting and will be a challenge on the perimeter for the Jayhawks. Oklahoma transfer Brady Manek (15.2) is a third high-scoring option that can play inside or outside. RJ Davis (13.5 ppg.) and Leaky Black (5.0 ppg.) round out the starting five. Puff Johnson (2.9 ppg) and Dontrez Styles (2.1 ppg) are the primary reserves, but Davis isn’t afraid to ride the starting five. 

Best individual matchup: Ochai Agbaji vs. Caleb Love 

How much will these two guards be matched up against each other? North Carolina could slide Davis on Agbaji, and Kansas can use Braun on Love. Which guard will keep the hot hand? That will be the real question. Agbaji took just eight shots against Villanova, but he hit 6 of 7 from 3-point range and helped the Jayhawks build an early lead. He’s 10 of 22 from 3-point range in the tournament. Love is a high-volume shooter who hit the clutch 3-pointer late against Duke. He’s 20 of 60 from 3-point range in the tournament. 

Kansas vs. North Carolina stat to know

Both teams like to play up tempo. The Jayhawks average 78.4 points per game, a touch ahead of the Tar Heels average 78.1 points per game.  North Carolina improved to 15-1 this season when it hits 80 points. The Jayhawks are 14-0 when they hit 80 points. Both scored 81 on Saturday. How comfortable are both going to be if this games get to that point? 

Get to know … Brady Manek, F, Tar Heels 

Manek is a X-factor player in this game. He knows the Jayhawks from his time with the Sooners, and he had 26 points against Baylor in the second round before being ejected for a flagrant foul. He’s hit at least three from 3-point range in five straight tournament games, and he can be a shot-blocking presence. Wilson does not shoot as many 3-pointers, but he can test Manek on the defensive end. Manek averages 11.8 ppg in eight career games against the Jayhawks. Is he the spark that lifts the Tar Heels? 

Kansas vs. North Carolina prediction  

The pressure is off the Tar Heels, believe it or not. That confidence from beating the Blue Devils could carry over, and Bacot returned after appearing to suffer an ankle injury. Can Bacot control the front line against McCormack, who was dominant against the Wildcats? The Tar Heels have a fast pace that can match the Jayhawks, who have been a little tougher on the defensive end. Self is 3-0 against North Carolina, and Kansas has quietly gone about their business as a No. 1 seed in the tournament. First one to 80 wins, and we think it will be the Jayhawks. 

Final score: Kansas 80, North Carolina 75