Gonzaga, North Carolina preparing for national title game

Gonzaga, North Carolina preparing for national title game

"It's like going to heaven". SC is one of the biggest surprises to make the Final Four in a long time. No one ever doubted his passion for the Ducks or the game of basketball.

Bell's failure to box out in back-to-back free throw situations enabled North Carolina to get possessions that allowed the game and the Ducks' season to expire. And North Carolina's past four recruiting classes have ranked sixth (2013), third (2014), 10th (2015) and fifth (2016) in the ACC, according to 247 Sports. P.J. Hairston played the four that year.

"I thought we were gonna win anyway", Boucher said. "They nearly carried me into the arena".

Tip is scheduled for 9:20 p.m. ET Monday on CBS.

The Gonzaga team that took the floor in Glendale looked nothing like the upstart that crashed the party in 1999. Their big men dominated inside. A hard-fought battle with SC. Right when I flashed up to the high post, I knew I was going to shoot it. "Frank (Martin) is building the program so well from the ground up. We just got to play the game and execute". He is not often called upon to be a leading scorer, but when the Tar Heels went cold against Oregon, Meeks dominated with 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting.

Dorsey finished with an average of 14.6 and 3.5 rebounds, while Bell had 10.9 points and 8.8 rebounds.

Gonzaga defeated SC 77-73 in the first game, and North Carolina secured a 77-76 win over the Oregon Ducks. Their talent is well spread-out and they are used to playing in the tournament, unlike SC.

Carolina goaded them into shooting not just 3's, but deep 3's.

Defence has always been the element that has held Gonzaga back.

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Even as his section was frustrated with the deficit, Thompson would continue to cheer, "Let's go Gamecocks!"

"Throughout the whole second half it was getting better and better", he said. Ron, what do you got for us? And why would it? The Zags' stingy D makes the difference as Carolina falls short in the final for the second straight year. They knocked out Duke, beat Baylor and sent home SEC rival Florida. Berry really struggled to shoot the ball on Saturday, and will now face the daunting task of going up against Nigel Williams-Goss, who was terrific against SC.

Gonzaga came out shooting very well, hitting 5-of-9 first half three-pointers and 58 percent from the field in moving out to a 45-36 halftime lead.

Back on Selection Sunday, before the official madness began, both North Carolina and Gonzaga weren't full-on locks as No. 1 seeds like fellow top seeds Villanova and Kansas. Gonzaga is looking to win its first NCAA basketball title. Gonzaga is well coached and can beat you at your own style. SC responded to cut the deficit to 2 with two minutes remaining. Thornwell made the first of two free throws to make it 75-73.

The nervous energy radiated throughout the SC section.

When South Carolina trailed by 14 in the second half Saturday night, the Gamecocks reaction could have been a shoulder shrug.

Saturday's Final Four on CBS drew 44 percent more viewers than it did previous year when it was aired on TBS. As other fans bolted for the exits, Thompson remained put. This season, Meeks has been one of the game's most impactful big man, thanks to an offensive efficiency rating that has him among the nation's top 130 players. As usual, nobody in the world predicted these would be the four teams left standing.

Yet, he was positive that this won't be South Carolina's last Final Four. "We lost the game because of it".

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