By Dan Leach
No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 1 North Carolina: Saturday, April 1 8:49 p.m., University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona, TV: CBS
Current America’s Bookie Line: North Carolina (-5), Total 152
QUACK QUACK! The Ducks are a definite surprise in the Final Four, but with the way they have stormed through the NCAA Tournament, it shouldn’t surprise you at all that they are two wins away from their first national title since 1939, the first ever NCAA basketball Tourney.
The inside-outside play of Dana Altman’s team has been magnificent and they arguably have the biggest difference maker in the tourney so far in Jordan Bell. Bell has been a double-double machine and is the biggest reason Oregon beat Michigan and shocked one-seeded Kansas.
It is no surprise at all that UNC is part of the Final Four as they have been a top four team most of the season and arguably have had the deepest team in America all season long. With greats like Joel Berry II and Kennedy Meeks and players like Luke Maye — who hit the game winner in the epic game against Kentucky in the Elite Eight — are role guys that can change games.
This is going to be a war from the start with Carolina’s ability to score in speed demon fashion and the Ducks phenomenal transition game that gave both Michigan and Kansas fits. The biggest question is whether Jordan Bell will be able to be as big of a difference maker as he has been so far thru this Oregon run. If so, the Heels could be in for some trouble. If Bell struggles and the Ducks have to rely heavily on just Dillon Brooks, it’s going to be tough for Oregon to win this one.
I see this game as back and forth the whole way with neither team leading by more than seven or eight the entire game and that is an advantage for the Ducks. Oregon might not be able to win this one outright, but I am all over them and the five points. I would not be surprised at all if they can break through and set up possibly the most unlikely national title game ever between them and South Carolina.