Take Two: Kentucky vs. North Carolina Winner Moves on to Final Four
The Elite Eight matchup will the most hype features the No. 2 seeded Kentucky Wildcats playing the No. 1 seeded North Carolina Tar Heels on Sunday, with the winner moving on to the Final Four.
The current line has North Carolina favored by 2.5 points with the over/under point total on 158.
In its past 10 games played, Kentucky is 10-0 straight up and 5-4-1 against the spread, while North Carolina is 8-2 SU and 6-3-1 ATS.
After Kentucky avenged a loss against UCLA last December on Friday in the Sweet 16, the Wildcats will look to win the South Regional final and move on to the Final Four.
This will be a rematch of what was likely the best game of this regular season with the Wildcats winning 103-100 December 17 in Las Vegas. In that game, Malik Monk scored 47 points hitting 8 shots from behind the 3-point arc.
De’Aaron Fox has become another huge threat for the Wildcats. He scored 39 points for Kentucky on Friday against UCLA, while Monk scored 21.
North Carolina defeated Butler by 12 points on Friday with Justin Jackson and Joel Berry combining to score 50 points.
Berry’s ankle injury did not appear to bother him as it did against Arkansas as he scored 26 and Jackson was the smooth player he has been all season scoring 24, grabbing 5 boards and handing out 5 assists.
Jackson had a big game in December against Kentucky with 34 points while Berry scored 23. Three other Tar Heels also scored in double figures against the Wildcats.
However, 47 from Monk and 24 by Fox to go along with 10 assists was too much for North Carolina to overcome.
In the NCAA Tournament, North Carolina held Arkansas scoring in the final minutes to win 72-65 and limited Butler to just 43% shooting on Friday while out rebounding them by 12.
Kentucky’s defense picked up against UCLA forcing 13 Bruins turnovers and holding them to 15 points below their season average.
Kentucky is 4-0-1 ATS in its past 5 games played at neutral sites.
North Carolina is 7-3-1 ATS in its past 11 games played.
Prediction: Kentucky is playing at the top of its game and will need everything to come away with a victory and reach the Final Four. The Wildcats have shown they can do just that, lean here toward Kentucky to reach the Final Four.