North Carolina (33-6) vs. Villanova (34-5)

(1) North Carolina (33-6)

vs. (2) Villanova (34-5)

■ WHEN, WHERE: 6:19 p.m., Houston (TBS)

■ LINE, TOTAL: North Carolina -2½, 150½

■ PLAYER TO WATCH: Brice Johnson. If the Tar Heels win, Johnson will be the main reason. The 6-foot-9-inch senior has been outstanding throughout the NCAA Tournament, averaging 20.0 points and 9.6 rebounds while shooting 61.4 percent (35 of 57) from the field. But there are several other reasons for the Wildcats to be concerned. North Carolina attacks with waves of athletes — 6-9 Kennedy Meeks, 6-8 Justin Jackson and 6-8 Isaiah Hicks — who are big and long. The Tar Heels want to run, but they also want to dominate in the paint with their offensive rebounding.

■ STORYLINE: Villanova coach Jay Wright, on the brink of his first national championship, has done a masterful job. Always considered a good offensive coach, Wright built this team on defense and toughness. The Wildcats held No. 1 Kansas to 59 points in the South Region final before embarrassing Oklahoma 95-51 in Saturday’s semifinal. Ryan Arcidiacono, Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins and Daniel Ochefu are not stars, but they lead a well-rounded Villanova team. This is a moment that can define Wright as an elite coach. Roy Williams won NCAA titles in 2005 and 2009.

■ PICK: Villanova 74, North Carolina 72

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