The game will tip off at 12:10 p.m. ET on CBS. Baylor enters as a 5.5-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
No. 1 Baylor: 27-6 (14-4 Big 12):
First round result: Defeated No. 16 Norfolk State 85-49
KenPom rating: 2 Overall, 8 Offense, 13 Defense
NET ranking: 4, (10-5 Vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Adam Flagler (13.3 ppg)
Key stat: Baylor is 13-1 against non-conference opponents this season.
Baylor’s game against Norfolk State on Thursday exactly how you would expect a 1 vs. 16 matchup would go with the Bears dominating their way to a 36-point win. The Bears never trailed for a second, shot just over 57% from the field, and held the Spartans to just 32% shooting. James Akinjo provided 10 points and 10 assists while Matthew Mayer led the scoring efforts with 22.
The Bears are seventh-best offensive rebounding team in the nation according to KenPom but will have to contend with a North Carolina defense that is second-best in preventing offensive boards.
No. 8 UNC: 25-9 (15-5 ACC):
First round result: Defeated No. 9 Marquette 95-63
KenPom rating: 23 Overall, 23 Offense, 55 Defense
NET ranking: 31, (3-8 Vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Armando Bacot (16.5 ppg)
Key stat: North Carolina has won seven of its last eight games.
North Carolina absolutely torched Marquette in its 32-point first round victory on Thursday. The Tar Heels wrenched control of this game from the Golden Eagles early and never looked back. Brady Manek dropped 28 points and 11 rebounds in the win while Caleb Love followed with 23 points. Armando Bacot also provided a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
UNC has pushed the pace on offense as of late, scoring at least 84 points in four of its last five wins.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Baylor -5.5
Point total: 149
Moneyline: Baylor -235, UNC +190
Against The Spread Pick: UNC +5.5
Point total pick: Under 149
Pick to Win: Baylor
Both teams have had two days to scout each other so expect defense to play a more prominent role in this one. For that, lean with the under.
This will be a tight matchup and the experience of the reigning national champs should prevail in the end.
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