UNC, Kansas set for national title showdown

An epic night on Saturday in the Final Four has given us an all-time national championship game with No. 1 seed Kansas facing No. 8 seed North Carolina in the final game of the 2022 NCAA Tournament on Monday night.

How are we going to top Saturday night's Final Four? The 2022 version of March Madness extended into April after North Carolina beat Duke 81-77. It was the second straight time the Tar Heels defeated the rival Blue Devils and it brought the coaching career of Mike Krzyzewski to a close.

UNC will take on Kansas, which had an easier time with Villanova in a 81-68 victory, in Monday's NCAA Tournament championship game

So, you would expect the Jayhawks, the No. 1 seed in the Midwest region, to be favored over the 8th-seeded Tar Heels, and you would be correct. Kansas opened as a 4-point favorite (-190) over North Carolina (+160) to win the national championship on Monday night according to odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

The Tar Heels are looking to become the second No. 8 seed to win the title, following in the footsteps of Rollie Massimino's Villanova team in 1985.

Kansas, the only No. 1 seed to advance to the Elite Eight, took care of business in a wire-to-wire win against No. 2 seed Villanova in the first game on Saturday night. The Wildcats made several runs at the Kansas lead, but some combination of Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack and Christian Braun stepped up with an answer to every Villanova run, leaving no doubt in the game's closing minutes. Both coaches emptied the benches and Kansas turned its attention to the its first national championship game appearance since facing Kentucky in the same New Orleans setting in 2012. 

The first-ever meeting of North Carolina and Duke in the NCAA Tournament brought so much hype that you could almost blame the excitement for the poor shooting by both teams early in the game. But after about 10 minutes, the back-and-forth was on and the rubber match between the Tobacco Road rivals delivered just as much anyone could have hoped. The 18 lead changes and 12 ties brought all the intensity of college basketball's best rivalry to the game's biggest stage, but it was Caleb Love's clutch play that propelled the Tar Heels into the national championship game. 

Kansas and North Carolina have met several times before in the Final Four, including in the 1957 national championship game, the 1991 national semifinal, the 1993 national semifinal and the 2008 national semifinal. 

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