Final Four: North Carolina (31-7) vs. Oregon (33-5) Prediction & Game Preview
NCAA Tournament: North Carolina vs. Oregon fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, April 1
Game Time: 8:49 pm ET
Venue: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
What’s the deal with North Carolina?
Either North Carolina won the national title when it beat Kentucky in the epic 75-73 South Region Final – at least it was an epic final seven minutes – or it was just another great tournament game in what could be a second straight disappointing finish for the Tar Heels.
This is the best team left standing – and that includes Gonzaga – but will this year’s bunch be able to use its depth, versatility, and experience to finish the drill? After surviving the Wildcats, UNC showed the toughness and heart, too.
There were 16 turnovers, the three-point shot wasn’t falling, and going 18-of-26 from the line didn’t help, but the Tar Heels owned the boards yet again, dominating UK 44-34.
This is the nation’s best rebounding team, it normally doesn’t turn the ball over, and the offense can usually handle any sort of style. It’s not going to buckle under the Oregon pressure, but the three needs to start falling.
What’s the deal with Oregon?
Written off after losing star Chris Boucher to a knee injury, Oregon rode the 1-2 scoring punch of Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey to Glendale – but that’s sort of not fair.
The Ducks had four players in double-digits in the dominant 74-60 buttkicking of Kansas, showing the toughness and the attitude to blow apart the hottest team in the tournament in what amounted to a Jayhawk home game in Kansas City.
Throw in the shot-blocking of Jordan Bell, who had eight against KU, and the inside presence of Boucher wasn’t missed a bit.
Absolutely fearless, Oregon can bomb away from anywhere, they attack the glass hard, and they crank up one of the nation’s nastiest defenses.
Forget being intimidated by the setting or the North Carolina mystique, this is the most mentally-tough team in the tournament with what it had to overcome with the Boucher loss.
What’s Going To Happen
Oregon has to make this a track meet.
Attack, attack and attack some more, and don’t be afraid that North Carolina can keep up any piece. Over the course of the game, the Ducks have the firepower from the outside that the Tar Heels don’t on a consistent basis.
However, they boards will be a problem.
UNC makes up for a whole slew of mistakes by getting just about every board, and it’s going to prove costly for the Ducks. Fouls are going to be an issue early on, and there won’t be any flakiness like Kansas showed last weekend.
It’ll be nip-and-tuck throughout, with the Tar Heels pulling away late.
Fearless Prediction & Line
North Carolina 84, Oregon 77
Line: North Carolina -5, o/u: 151
ATS Confidence: 3
5: Leave Vegas richer in body, mind & spirit
1: Leave the sportsbook, get tickets for Menopause The Musical or Puppetry of the Penis