Is No. 5 North Carolina A Winning Pick For 2017 NCAA Championship?

Posted by Eric Williams on Monday,March 13, 2017 9:34, EDT in

The high-scoring, sixth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels (27-6, 17-13-2 ATS) have undoubtedly been one of the nation’s most exciting teams in the country this season. With a loaded roster that includes at least three likely future NBA performers, the Tar heels are definitely looking to win this season’s national championship after falling just short in last season’s championship showdown against Villanova.

If you want to find out whether the Heels are really a winning March Madness pick to bag this season’s national championship, let’s find out now.

Is No. 5 North Carolina A Winning Pick For 2017 NCAA Championship?

 

 

National Championship Odds

North Carolina 13/2

The Good

The North Carolina Tar Heels have some nice momentum going into Friday night’s ACC semifinal matchup against No. 10 Duke having won six of their last seven games and 15 of their last 18 games overall. Carolina has a fantastic offense that ranks 11th in the nation in scoring (85.0 ppg) and has an elite player in small forward Joel Jackson (18.4 ppg), the ACC Player of the Year and one of the nation’s steadiest floor leaders in Joel Berry II (15.0 ppg).

Carolina also has a trio of big men in Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks and Tony Bradley that all stand at least 6-9 and average over 5.0 rebounds per game to dominate the glass and help the Heels lead the country in rebounding (43.3 for/27.5 against). The Heels also shoot the ball well, ranking 41st nationally in field goal shooting percentage (47.3%) and 81st in three-point shooting (37.1%).

The Bad

Carolina has been solid, but not outstanding in ranking 119th in points allowed (69.9 ppg) and an identical 119th in three-point field goal percentage defense (33.8%). Carolina also isn’t very deep outside of their top five  players scoring wise with no reserve averaging at least 7.0 points per game.

The Bottom Line

If you want to know whether Carolina is worthy of a wager on their championship odds, they certainly are. The Tar Heels get multiple possessions at the offensive end of the floor because of their superior rebounding while limiting their opponents to one-and-done possessions at the defensive end of the floor.

I fully expect Carolina’s superior rebounding and size advantage against most teams down low to help them reach the Final Four at the very least this season with a very real possibility of not only reaching the title game, but winning it all one year after they fell agonizingly short.