North Carolina is a 1-point favorite over Gonzaga and the total is 155 in tonight’s NCAA championship game. We surveyed VSiN staff members, other media, oddsmakers and professional bettors for their opinions.
The majority favor the Zags, but the vote (8-7) is as tight as the line.
Frank Carulli, Las Vegas professional bettor: Gonzaga, 81-77
North Carolina's porous defense allowed Oregon's Dylan Ennis to penetrate at will, so look for Gonzaga's Nigel Williams-Goss to have a big game, scoring and fueling a balanced inside-out attack. The refs called it close in semifinals, and I suspect free throws will help push it over the total.
Dave Cokin, ESPN Radio 1100: North Carolina, 79-77
Very little to choose between these two powerhouse No. 1 seeds. I give the slight edge to the Tar Heels based on their championship game experience, with all the key guys having lost that heartbreaker last year.
Todd Dewey, Las Vegas Review-Journal: Gonzaga, 80-76
The Zags' twin towers of Zach Collins and Przemek Karnowski nullify North Carolina's bigs, and point guard Nigel Williams-Goss is the X factor as the Bulldogs finally win it all.
Chuck Esposito, Sunset Station sports book: Gonzaga, 77-71
The Zags can match up with the Tar Heels’ bigs, plus they play better defense and shoot better from the outside. Gonzaga will go 38-1 and cut down the nets.
Ron Flatter, VSiN co-host: North Carolina, 77-74
Yes, Gonzaga is great against the spread, and yes, the ACC stinks against the number in this tournament. But UNC is not the whole ACC. These two teams mirror each other so much that the only edge I find is in tournament experience. This time the final shot falls the Heels' way.
Bernie Fratto, ESPN Radio 1100: North Carolina, 76-73
Expect both teams to bring their best, but the Tar Heels’ best should prevail. Too much talent, depth and size for the Zags this time. And, remember, from the top down, North Carolina has not forgotten Kris Jenkins. Redemption is good for the soul.
Ed Graney, Las Vegas Review-Journal: North Carolina, 78-75
Not sure Przemek Karnowski is the Polish star who can cause Kennedy Meeks to lose focus. Now, Anja Rubik would be an entirely different story.
Jay Kornegay, Westgate sports book: North Carolina, 79-75
Gonzaga is a very well-rounded team without any weaknesses. North Carolina is a team on a mission of redemption. The Tar Heels’ big make the plays in crunch time.
Vinny Magliulo, Gaughan Gaming, VSiN: North Carolina, 78-73
This is a great matchup that will cap a record March madness wagering handle.
Tony Miller, Golden Nugget sports book: Gonzaga, 79-78
Gonzaga wins one of the most exciting finals ever, after more than a dozen lead changes. The Zags’ big men carry them to a last-second win and put Spokane on the map.
Mitch Moss, VSiN host, ESPN Radio 1100: North Carolina, 71-67
Gonzaga winning would be one of the best stories in the history of the sport, but the Tar Heels will squeak out another close game to win another national title. Joel Berry will play better than he did against Oregon.
Brent Musburger, VSiN host, managing editor: Gonzaga, 75-71
The Tar Heels meet someone just as big.
Dave Tuley, ESPN.com/Chalk: Gonzaga, 73-71
I already had the Zags power-rated over the Tar Heels, but after watching Oregon's undersized frontline go toe to toe with Carolina, I like Gonzaga's chances even better with their twin 7-footers. Joel Berry being hobbled also has me giving the edge to the Zags' backcourt led by Findlay Prep product Nigel Williams-Goss.
Robert Walker, USFantasy Sports: Gonzaga, 77-75
North Carolina will struggle against a Zag defense that has been great. Gonzaga has been the most consistent team all season, and Nigel Williams-Goss will find a way to win another close game, handing Mark Few and the Zags their first title.
Matt Youmans, VSiN editor: Gonzaga, 79-77
The Zags are shooting the 3 better and they are tougher on the defensive end. Zach Collins is becoming a force on the front line. Nigel Williams-Goss should win the point guard matchup.
ATS picks: Gonzaga 8, North Carolina 7