North Carolina: Hey, Gonzaga, if I was gonna break your balls, I’d tell you to go home and get your shine box.
North Carolina: Now this team, this team was great. They, they used to call them Spitshine Zaga.
Gonzaga: No more shines, NC.
North Carolina: What?
Gonzaga: I said, no more shines. Maybe you didn’t hear about it. We don’t shine shoes anymore.
(**The role of Billy Batts played by North Carolina. The role of Tommy DeVito played by Gonzaga)
Big collision ahead in tonight’s college basketball championship and we think this one ends the same way the above scene from Goodfellas ended (without all the blood). Tommy DeVito (Gonzaga) is all grown up and done with being disrespected.
Sure, the Tar Heels are the bluest of blue bloods, but the Zags are not some upstart who lucked their way into a Championship game invite.
That storyline is getting a little silly. Defending the Bulldogs at this point is getting silly. Many may feel North Carolina has the task tonight of restoring order to the college hoops universe, but this is the new normal.
A small school west of the Mississippi, from a non-power conference are one of the top two teams in the country and full value for being exactly where they are today.
The Tar Heels are that other top team, so this is the best matchup we could have asked for.
North Carolina has the experience, both as a program, but also with this specific lineup. Six of the players on the roster, including three starters, played in the Championship game last April. On the other side, this is the first trip to the final game in Gonzaga’s history. Give UNC the edge in that category.
Experience aside, the Bulldogs have the depth and size to go toe-to-toe with North Carolina. Roy Williams crew are the best rebounding team in the country. They’re going to get theirs. But Gonzaga has the bigs to counter this. They can matchup with North Carolina down low. They’re not going to score a convincing win on the boards, but they can hang with them, which is a win.
Very, very few teams can go strength vs. strength facing UNC – Gonzaga is one of them. It’s going to be bruising in the paint all night. Every basket will be earned.
The Zags also bring the best defense in the country to the floor. It’s the one thing that is slump-proof. You can go cold on offense, but having that great team defense to fall back on provides confidence that you can ride out dark stretches, get stops and wait for the momentum to swing back your way.
With Joel Berry just not right for UNC, I see a team that can be had.
Several things have to fall in place for North Carolina to get this win, while the Bulldogs just need to play their game. For me, they have a simpler formula to a win.
We like the Zags to take North Carolina for a figurative ride in the trunk tonight.
NCAA Championship Pick: We’re playing the small underdog Gonzaga at +1.
Best of luck!
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