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NCAA Championship Tale of the Tape: UNC-Villanova

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For all the marbles

North Carolina Villanova
Conference ACC Big East
Record 33-6 34-5
Conference Record 14-4 16-2
NCAA Record 5-0 5-0
KenPom Rank #2 #1
Points per game 83.0 70.1
Adj. Off. Efficiency(Rank) 123.7(1st) 122.0(2nd)
Ad. Def. Efficiency(Rank) 95.2(23rd) 91.9(6th)
Tempo(Rank) 71.3(64th) 66.7(284th)
Offensive eFG% 52.6% 55.8%
Defensive eFG% 47.7% 46.5%
Field Goal % 48.2% 42.6%
2P FG% 54.4% 57.3%
3P FG% 31.9% 35.9%
FT% 74.8% 78.2%
Offensive Reb Rate 40.6% 28.6%
Defensive Reb Rate 69.8% 29.0%
TO Rate 15.3% 16.3%
FT Rate 32.5% 34.1%
3PA% 26.7% 43.0%

The championship of college basketball comes down to the two best teams in KenPom and two teams ranked #1 and #2 in offensive efficiency. On the defensive end, Villanova sports a top ten defensive efficiency with UNC at 23rd though the Tar Heels did flirt with the top ten in this metric three games ago.

Of the notable differences, Villanova relies on the three point shot with a 3PA% of 43.0 but doesn't rebound well on either end of the floor. UNC is less reliant on the three pointer and is a dominant interior team. Not only is UNC less reliant on the three as a matter of attempts but if the Tar Heels win, they would likely be the worst three point shooting team ever to cut down the nets.

Villanova's NCAA Tournament has been an impressive. The Wildcats have held four of five opponents under 100 in offensive efficiency and the one they didn't, Miami, posted a 117.8 only to see Villanova put up a 157.0 on the other end. UNC and Villanova have enjoyed similar tournaments offensively. Both has put but great to outright gaudy efficiency ratings. The difference is the Wildcats have been better defensively with UNC letting Indiana and Notre Dame do whatever they wanted because neither could stop UNC.

UNC won't have that luxury in this game and the Tar Heel offense, as hot as it has been, will be challenged. However this isn't the first time UNC has gone against a top ten offense and defense but still come out on top. UNC got past Virginia in the ACC Championship, a game that could be similar to this one.