80°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Top seeds Gonzaga, North Carolina reach national title game

Updated April 1, 2017 - 9:14 pm

GLENDALE, Ariz. — It will be No. 1 vs. No. 1 to see who is No. 1 in college basketball.

North Carolina, the top seed in the South Regional, used its size and experience to hold off Oregon 77-76 on Saturday before 77,612 at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Tar Heels (32-7) will face Gonzaga on Monday for the national championship. The Bulldogs (37-1), the top seed in the West, rode the hot hands of Las Vegas prep stars Nigel Williams-Goss and Zach Collins to defeat South Carolina 77-73.

The Tar Heels relied on the broad shoulders of 6-foot-10-inch senior forward Kennedy Meeks, who had 25 points and 14 rebounds, and junior Justin Jackson, who scored 22.

The Ducks (33-6), who trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half, got within one point in the final six seconds. But Oregon fouled twice in those final seconds, and both times North Carolina missed two foul shots only to grab the offensive rebound each time and deny the Ducks a final shot.

Former Findlay Prep standout Williams-Goss scored 23 points, and former Bishop Gorman star Collins had 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots off the bench for Gonzaga.

South Carolina (26-11) trailed by 14 points early in the second half, but used a 16-0 run to take the lead before Gonzaga regained it and held on.

With the Zags clinging to a 75-72 lead, Sindarius Thornwell was fouled with 3.5 seconds to play. He made the first and deliberately missed the second, hoping for a long rebound. But Gonzaga controlled the boards to advance to its first national title game.

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Virginia-Texas Tech title game just what the NCAA needed

Redemption ultimately came for the Cavaliers, who officially exorcised all their demons with a 85-77 victory in overtime before 72,062 at U.S. Bank Stadium, completing arguably one the most implausible 12-month comebacks in the event’s history.

Virginia wins national title with 85-77 OT win over Texas Tech

Led by De’Andre Hunter and his NBA-ready game, Virginia held off a tenacious Texas Tech team for an 85-77 overtime win — a scintillating victory that came 388 days after a crushing setback that might have sunk a lesser team for years.

Baylor holds off Notre Dame 82-81 for women’s title

Baylor recovered after blowing a 17-point lead and losing a star player, beating Notre Dame 82-81 for the NCAA women’s basketball championship Sunday night when 2018 tournament hero Arike Ogunbowale missed a foul shot in the final seconds.

Texas Tech reaches national final from deep in the dirt

Matt Mooney plays in the dirt. He was digging in it long before arriving to Lubbock, Tex., before awaiting the biggest basketball game of his life, a One Shining Moment most only dream about but never experience.