North Carolina qualified for its first national title game in a half-decade thanks to slaying Tobacco Road rival Duke, 81-77, on Saturday night.
Now, the Tar Heels square off against the mighty Kansas Jayhawks at the Superdome on Monday night with a shot at the school’s sixth national championship.
With a win, eighth-seeded UNC would tie 1985 Villanova as the lowest seed to ever capture a national title.
First-year coach Hubert Davis and company face the Jayhawks at 9:20 Eastern time on TBS.
Here’s a look at a North Carolina sports betting breakdown for Monday’s Tar Heels-Jayhawks battle in the Big Easy.
NCAA Men's Tournament Title Odds By Round
|Opening||KU, +1600||UNC, +3000|
|Round 64||KU, +950||UNC +12500|
|Round 32||KU, +800||UNC, +8000|
|Sweet 16||KU, +450||UNC, +3000|
|Elite 8||KU, +275||UNC, +600|
|Final Four||KU, +180||UNC, +500|
|Championship||KU, -190||UNC, +155|
|Ticket %||KU, 6.9%||UNC, 6.5%|
|Handle %||KU, 10.1%||UNC, 7.8%|
UNC the Consensus Underdog Against Kansas
One theme that emerges from the betting lines on four major online sportsbooks is the Heels are the consensus underdog in Monday’s title game.
That should be little worry for UNC, however, given how it’s 3-0 as an underdog in the tournament — beating Baylor 93-86, OT (+5.5), 73-66 UCLA (+2.5) and Duke 81-77 (+4.5).
The Tar Heels opened the NCAA Tournament at +12500 on BetMGM to win the national championship, compared to +950 for Kansas. At Caesars Sportsbook, UNC was +10,000 at the start of the tournament.
UNC is a four-point underdog against Kansas at Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook. The team’s odds look even worse on BetMGM, which has UNC at +4.5.
On the moneyline, BetMGM has UNC at +155, while FanDuel (+160), DraftKings (+160), and Caesars (+175) give the Tar Heels slightly longer odds of winning the program’s sixth national title.
BetMGM and FanDuel Sportsbook have the over/under total points at 151.5.
At DraftKings, 56% of the handle and 62% of bets have been placed on Kansas -4. But the margins are closer on the moneyline, with 52% of bets favoring UNC.
While proposals to legalize online sports betting in North Carolina are making their way through the state legislature, there are two retail casinos in the state where you can place bets on the title game — Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, an hour west of Asheville, and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino in Murphy.
How UNC, KU Have Fared Against Each Other
The Tar Heels and Jayhawks have met 11 times, including six times in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
UNC has gone 6-5, though it has lost its last three games (all by double-digits) to Kansas — each in the tournament.
The teams’ last meeting came on March 24, 2013, when the Jayhawks rolled past the Heels, 70-58 — making it consecutive tournaments where Kansas ended North Carolina’s season. The year prior saw Bill Self’s squad thump the Heels, 80-67.
North Carolina’s last victory over Kansas came in the 1993 Final Four, when the Heels rolled 78-68 in New Orleans en route to the school’s third national championship.
Fast-forward 29 years, and the two sides will meet in the same place where they clashed in that Final Four, with a shot at claiming another championship for their respective blue-blooded universities.