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2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Analysis: North Carolina vs Oregon

The 2017 NCAA men’s basketball semifinals are set with the North Carolina Tar Heels facing the Oregon Ducks after the Gonzaga Bulldogs square off against the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Tar Heels are no strangers to the Final Four and are looking to avenge last year’s loss to Villanova in the championship game. Nobody expected the Ducks to make it to this point after losing Chris Boucher to injury, but, they’ve proved everyone wrong. Will it be the Tar Heels or the Ducks to make it to the 2017 NCAA Tournament championship in Phoenix on April 3? 

2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Analysis: Final Four Semifinals Breakdown, Schedule, Game Times.

  • What: North Carolina Tar Heels vs Oregon Ducks
  • When: April 01, 2017, 8:49 PM ET
  • Where: University of Phoenix Stadium
  • Spread: North Carolina -4.5
  • Over/Under: 151
  • Watch: CBS

The North Carolina Tar Heels will head to the national championship because…

The Tar Heels are by far the team with the most experience in this competition. And, arguably, they’re the most dominating team in the Final Four. The fact they defeated Kentucky in their Elite Eight game, shows they’re just itching for another shot at the title.

It’s the Tar Heels’ ability to grind it out and their mental toughness that gives them the edge over any team left in the competition. Of any of the teams in the Final Four, North Carolina can end up overpowering on offense. Their game against Kentucky showed a team that’s ice-cold when it came down to the line. The Tar Heels are among the best in offensive rebounding and their 34 points scored in the paint against Kentucky gives them the edge over the Ducks. Despite having missed 12 of their 15 three point attempts, UNC collected so many second-chance points against Kentucky that it  allowed them to control the game’s outcome.

The Tar Heels also have a rock-solid defense that has held opponents to 70.5 points and 32.4 percent from 3-point range. They’ve also posted an average rebounding margin of plus-14 during the tourney while only allowing a combined 33 offensive rebounds. Senior Kennedy Meeks has recorded at least 11 rebounds in each of the past three games. North Carolina big posts could overwhelm Oregon.

However, Joel Berry II is not at full health. In fact, Berry has been grinding it out despite his injured ankles and it’s unclear how much he has left in him. Against Kentucky, Berry finished with  for 12 in the game and the Tar Heels need him because he sets the pace of the game. Without him, it’s hard for North Carolina to control the game’s flow.

North Carolina Tar Heels Stats

Offense

  • Total Score: 84.97
  • Field Goal %: 47.15
  • Three Point %: 36.13
  • Free Throw %: 70.45
  • Total Rebounds: 43.68

Defense 

  • Total Score: 70.61
  • Field Goal %: 41.59
  • Three Point %: 34.00
  • Free Throw %: 72.11
  • Total Rebounds: 30.66

The Oregon Ducks will head to the national championship because…

Nobody gave a prayer to Oregon when they lost Chris Boucher to a season-ending injury. However, Jordan Bell answered the call and silenced the naysayers, turning into arguably the most versatile player in the Final Four. It’s Bell’s ability to take control and pace the game that makes him different. Bell is a force of nature who plays like a small forward. And, it’s extremely difficult for opposing big men to keep up with him.

Against North Carolina, a team that plays most of the time with two baseline players on the floor, Bell’s abilities may take away UNC’s advantage in getting second-chance points. The Heels have relied on their offensive rebounding and on second-shot opportunities or shooting the ball out to Jackson or Berry for perimeter shots, but the Ducks could shut this down outright.

Now, however good Bell is, he’s still just one player. And, without Boucher to back him the Ducks will find themselves at a disadvantage and Bell overextended. Oregon has fared well despite his Boucher’s absence, but against the Tar Heels it could mean disaster for Oregon.

Oregon Stats

Offense

  • Total Score: 78.95
  • Field Goal %: 48.33
  • Three Point %: 38.29
  • Free Throw %: 70.49
  • Total Rebounds: 36.45

Defense  

  • Total Score: 65.47
  • Field Goal %: 40.44
  • Three Point %: 31.10
  • Free Throw %: 72.01
  • Total Rebounds: 32.18