One of the biggest spectacles in American sport is set for a fitting finale, with Gonzaga and North Carolina to go head-to-head on Tuesday.
Number one seed Gonzaga ended the fairy tale run of South Carolina, claiming a four point victory. Nigel Williams-Goss starred for the Bulldogs, dropping 23 points to go along with six assists. Big men Zach Collins (14pts and 13rebs), and Przemek Karnowski (13pts and 5rebs) were also impressive for the Zags.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 1, 2017
For South Carolina, guard PJ Dozier put in a valiant effort, finishing with game with 17 points and nine rebounds.
After the tough loss the Gamecocks head coach Frank Martin said, "When you impact people by the masses like these kids have, that means you're a winner".
Immediately after that game, North Carolina and Oregon battled it out. The Tarheels ended the Ducks historic run, claiming two offensive rebounds in the dying seconds to close out a 77-76 win.
Kennedy Meeks was almost unstoppable for UNC, recording a huge double-double, with 25 points and 14 rebounds. He had help from NBA prospect Justin Jackson, who lit it up from deep, nailing four triples.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 2, 2017
For Oregon, it was the same names that performed, "Mr. March" Tyler Dorsey has 21 points, while Jordan Bell finished with 13 points, 16 rebound, and 4 blocks. Pac-12 player of the year Dillon Brooks will be disappointed with his performance, finishing the game 2-11 from the field, and fouling out.
This will be Gonzaga's first trip to the National Championship game, whereas North Carolina will be aiming for their 6th NCAA title. Current Tarheels coach Roy Williams was a part of two of those championships, with the most recent coming 2008/09. That team featured the likes of Ed Davis, Ty Lawson, Danny Green, Tyler Zeller, Wayne Ellington, and Tyler Hansbrough.
Both sides were the number one seeds in their respective seed at the start of the tournament. UNC knocked off Texas Southern, Arknsas, Butler, powerhouses Kentucky, and then Oregon on their way too the championshionship game. Meanwhile Gonzaga beat South Dakota State, Northwestern, West Virginia, Xavier, and finally South Carolina to make the big dance.
North Carolina will go in to the game as favourites, however only just. Their is expected to be at least 70,000 people attending the game, while millions will watch from around the world. Will North Carolina and Roy Williams add to their illustrious record, or will Gonzaga make school history and claim their first ever national title?