by Greg Dempson
Just as the ’60’s and ’70’s rock group Three Dog Night sang their 1969 hit song, “One is the Loneliest Number,” two number one seeds meet tonight and one team will ring supreme while the other number one seed will be a lonely one, as it’s one and done for each team. Unlike NBA basketball, baseball and the NHL, it’s a one game “winner take all ” trophy in Glendale, Arizona when the ball tips at 9:20 ET.
This is Gonzaga’s first ever championship game while the Tar Heels have been here numerous times, the last of which was last season, (which ended in a painful last second shot loss to Villanova, (77-74.)
The Bulldogs are led by Williams-Goss (a team high average of 16.9 points,) center Zach Collins, who contributed 14 points, 13 rebounds and 6 blocked shots vs. South Carolina (while averaging 10.0 PPG along with 5.9 rebounds for the season.) Jordan Mathews averages 10.8 PPG including 83 from beyond the arc as well as Przemek Karnowski (12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds,) and forward Johnathan Williams (10.2 points and 6.5 boards.) Josh Perkins, averages 8 PPG and he also combined for 130 of Gonzaga’s 263 steals.
North Carolina has been unstoppable in rebounding this season leading the nation averaging 15.8 RPG. The Tar Heels were close to UCLA in points averaged per game at, (82.9.) Forward Justin Jackson averages a team-best 18.3 points while point guard Joel Berry II, is averaging 14.5 PPG. Berry, who played 35 minutes Saturday night, has been dealing with two gimpy ankles, went 2 of 14 from the field vs. Oregon. Will Berry be able to guard William-Gross and can Gonzaga limit North Carolina’s rebounding edge?
When is comes to average points scored, experience and rebounding…those are the edges that North Carolina possesses, while bench strength, field goal and free throw percentage as well as defense and turnovers are the edge that Gonzaga possesses.
· Gonzaga is 09-18 to the UNDER in non conference games the past two seasons.
· North Carolina is 06-14 to the under when playing only this second game in a week this season.
· The Bulldogs are 01-10 to the UNDER vs. teams that outrebound their opponents by 7+ per game the past two seasons.
· The Tar Heels are 03-10 to the UNDER vs. teams who are called for 17 or less fouls per game this season.
Neutralizing the Total
When the over/under is between 150 to 159.5 points, in Neutral court tournament games, play the under. In the past five seasons this system has been live more than 500 times, (I’ve taken out pushes.) By wagering on the under this system is 192-318 = 62.4% to the UNDER and +106.8-units of profit.
Every Edge in Review
I am 14-13 ATS at Every Edge with my non opinion College and NBA selections.