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NCAA men’s basketball national championship game preview and open thread

I would show a picture of UNC or Kansas, but one of the head coaches played for the Wizards, so .....

Hubert Davis dribbles the ball
Hubert Davis may win a national championship in his first season coaching college basketball.

The NCAA Division I men’s national basketball championship game is tonight at around 9:20 p.m. ET on TBS, TNT and TruTV. The Kansas Jayhawks will take on the North Carolina Tar Heels for their chance at a national championship.

What to watch for

For KU, the Jayhawks will be going for their fourth national championship and first since 2008. Their top prospect is senior guard Ochai Agbaji who is averaging 18.9 ppg and shooting over 40 percent from the three-point line. Agbaji is considered to be a first round prospect, but the Wizards could probably trade down to get someone like him. That said, after drafting Corey Kispert this season, I doubt that they would need Agbaji.

As for North Carolina, the Tar Heels are looking for their seventh national championship in school history and their first since 2017. Sophomore guard Caleb Love is regarded as UNC’s top draft prospect, where he is averaging 16 points and 3.6 assists per game. Love had his biggest performance of the season last Saturday when the Tar Heels beat Duke in the semifinals, scoring 28 points in the upset over their arch-rivals.

Both Kansas and North Carolina share common bonds. Both are two of the best men’s basketball programs of all time. And the Tar Heels’ two best head coaches have coached for the Jayhawks as well. The late Dean Smith went to Kansas from 1949-53 and was an assistant from 1953-55 before a 40 year run at UNC as an assistant (1958-61) and head coach (1961-97). And former head coach Roy Williams was Kansas’ head coach from 1988-2003 where he led the Jayhawks to four Final Four appearances before he led UNC from 2003-21.

The Tar Heels’ current team has a connection with the Wizards and the DMV!

Current UNC head coach Hubert Davis has a connection with the Washington Wizards, where he played for them in the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons averaging 7.8 points in 66 appearances. In layman’s terms, he was on the Wizards 20 years ago, right when Kwame Brown was beginning his NBA career and when Michael Jordan made his final NBA comeback here in the nation’s capital.

Hubert was a 12-year NBA veteran and was a well-known sharpshooter, averaging 44.1 percent of his threes during his professional career, while also averaging over one made three per game. Most of Davis’ time was spent with the New York Knicks (1992-96) and Dallas Mavericks (1997-2001) where he was known as a reliable shooter, usually off the bench.

If there’s a player on the current Wizards team who COULD have a long career like Davis, it’s none other than Corey Kispert! Coincidentally, Kispert wears the same No. 24 that Davis wore here in D.C.

Davis also has connections with the D.C. area, where he graduated from Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Va. before beginning his college career at UNC from 1988-1992. If you are an alum of Lake Braddock, you’d also know that U.S. soccer legend Mia Hamm played high school soccer at Lake Braddock in 1989 AND in college at UNC. And it gets better! Allen Johnson, the 1996 gold medalist for the 110m hurdles was also at Lake Braddock AND in college at UNC at the same time as Davis too! Man, Lake Braddock had to be an athletic powerhouse back in the late 1980s and early 1990s!

Anyone go to high school with someone who’s famous? Let us know in the comments below.

Here’s your thread to chat about the game. I’m rooting for UNC in this one, especially since Davis is our team and local connection!