Gonzaga and North Carolina battle it out Monday for the NCAA championship
GLENDALE, Ariz. — A pair of No. 1 seeds will square off in Monday’s NCAA championship game at Glendale, Ariz. Gonzaga and North Carolina have set up a winner-take-all against each other after winning Saturday by a combined five points.
Freshman Zach Collins delivered 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks in 23 minutes as Gonzaga knocked off South Carolina, 77-73. Collins was outstanding down the stretch despite playing with four fouls.
Gonzaga saw a 65-51 lead become a two-point deficit once South Carolina completed a 16-0 run, but the Zags went back on top by as many as five down the stretch. Collins put the Bulldogs ahead to stay with a 3-pointer that erased the Gamecocks’ 67-65 lead.
Przemek Karnowski finished with 13 points and Kilian Tillie iced the win by hitting two free throws with 2.2 seconds left.
Nigel Williams-Goss scored a game-high 23 points for the Bulldogs, who will carry a 37-1 record into Monday’s title game. Gonzaga hopes to become the last men’s basketball team to win after being the last to lose this season.
The Tar Heels advanced by getting 25 points and 14 boards from Kennedy Meeks in a 77-76 triumph over Oregon. Meeks also factored in a harrowing 5.8 seconds that featured four missed free throws but two offensive rebounds by the Tar Heels.
Meeks went to the line and promptly missed a pair before Theo Pinson tipped the ball to Joel Berry II, who was fouled with four seconds left. Berry also missed his free throws, but Meeks was there to snag the rebound and throw it outside to allow North Carolina to run out the clock.
Meeks was 11-for-13 from the field to bail out his teammates, who combined to go 11-for-55. Justin Jackson also had a big game with 22 points on 6 of 13 from the floor.
Dylan Ennis had a team-high 21 points for Oregon, while Tyler Dorsey added 18. The Ducks received little production from Dillon Brooks, who shot 2-for-11 with five turnovers before fouling out.