wnol.info January 19 2018

Gonzaga, N Carolina feature beastly bigs in NCAA title game

January 19 2018, 05:40 | Perry Erickson

Taking down Kentucky in the last matchup could have easily went the opposite direction, as sophomore Luke Maye hit the game winning shot, along with tallying 17 points. Let's get straight to it.

And with an Elite Eight finish last season and a Final Four appearance this year, OR continues to improve on its own success. I believe this game will be a low-scoring affair, with the victor being Gonzaga.

Here are three keys to victory for the Bulldogs, as they look to break through and make just a bit more history for their school, and score a big victory for the non-major conferences.

I'd say that was a successful season.

The NCAA has sent three versions of a Notice of Allegations (NOA) outlining violations in the past two years, with the charges including lack of institutional control. The first half was largely back and forth basketball with both squads trading buckets at either end of the floor with Gonzaga holding a modest lead throughout. The Zags (37-1) are 0-7 against No. 1 seeds, losing by an average margin of 14.4 points. Now that we are in this stage of the big dance, there's nothing left to do, other than diagnose what went down in each round thus far, and critique who's left. No. 1 seed North Carolina For nearly the entire game except a three-minute stretch late in the second half where it allowed a 14-0 run to make the finish unnecessarily dramatic, Gonzaga dominated SC in a 77-74 semifinal victory Saturday evening.

CBS Sports and Turner Sports announced Sunday that the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament averaged 16.8 million viewers, making it the second-most watched in the last 19 years.

Few dreamed about all this, then fought for it, then stuck around when other programs came calling. Not until about midway through the second half.

The Gamecocks had erased a 14-point deficit and took a 67-65 lead with 7:06 to play. He has, like Williams, always gone out of his way to make it about his players - and this season he has some really great players such as Nigel Williams-Goss and Przemek Karnowski. And they certainly have depth in the back line to challenge North Carolina, with Karnowski, Collins, Tillie, and Jonathan Williams. The game was officially on.

Fans believe the team will do everything in its power to not let the NCAA title slip away again. The thought that this could be his final game in an OR uniform motivated him in every moment.

UNC will be the most balanced and the toughest opponent the Zags have faced all season.

Never happened. And after Keith Smith's layup pulled OR within one with 7 seconds left, it looked like it would come down to free throws.

The team the Bulldogs face comes from the sort of school that is, quote-unquote "supposed" to be here. Both teams are talented and will undoubtedly bring their best effort with all the chips on the table. Notable first half highlights came when OR guard Jordan Bell turned his ankle at around the five-minute mark.

And the last program to win it all in its first title-game appearance? The Tar Heels are rebounding 41.7 percent of their misses (tops in the country), although the Bulldogs have been effective on the defensive glass (26.1 percent, 47th). No one ever doubted his passion for the Ducks or the game of basketball. In that time, they scored six total points, all of which were free throws. OR managed to put up 14 points to make it a one-point game through ferocious defense. Mainly Joel Berry who was awful in the semifinal shooting 2 of 14 and missing those critical free throws which could have iced the game.

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