North Carolina The Early Favorite In NCAA Final Four
The Final Four is all set to tip off this weekend, and the North Carolina Tar Heels seem to be the trendy pick to win it all. When it comes to this weekend’s matchups, ESPN’s Rachel Ullrich points out that the Tar Heels are heavy favorites against the Syracuse Orange.
“On paper, the Tar Heels are the far better team – first in the nation in 2-point attempts and makes; second in the nation in rebounds and offensive efficiency – but as we’ve seen, Boheim’s escape artists have plenty of experience coming from behind,” Ullrich writes.
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An infographic that accompanies her piece highlights that UNC has won each of its four tournament games by double-digit margins and compares favorably to Syracuse in just about every offensive and defensive metric imaginable. The Tar Heels even have an older, more experiences squad.
But it’s not just Ullrich that is taking notice of UNC’s dominant performance. Vegas oddsmakers have UNC favored to defeat Syracuse with a spread of 9.5 points. In the other semifinal, Villanova is the consensus favorite to defeat Oklahoma, but the spread is only 2.0 points.
Around $9 billion in legal and illegal bets were placed on the tournament last year, and Vegas casino operators Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS), Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN), MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD), Caesars Entertainment Corp (NASDAQ: CZR) and others took home an estimated $100 million in profits stemming from the tournament.
Benzinga took to Twitter to ask which of the four remaining teams fans think will come out on top. It should come as no surprise that UNC was the top response with 40 percent of the vote.
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