Bulldog Mentality, Zags Headed to First Title Game
Gonzaga will play the victor of the late Final Four game between top-seeded North Carolina and No. 3-seed OR here Monday night.
South Carolina's women's basketball team will play in their first ever national title game, after defeating Stanford 62-53 Friday night in Dallas.
The Bulldogs' 7-footers, senior Przemek Karnowski and freshman Zach Collins, took care of things on both ends of the court, combining for 18 rebounds.
Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins committed a foul with 3.5 seconds to go, sending guard Sindarius Thornwell to the line.
Each of the Bulldogs' top performers favored Nike signature sneakers, specifically two of LeBron James' models.
Top-seeded Gonzaga went up 65-51 when Williams-Goss flipped in a driving layup and made a free throw for a three-point play with 10:55 left.
"So we had a 4-man", Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss said.
SC (26-11) was led by in scoring by guard P.J. Dozier, who had 17 points and guard Sindarius Thornwell, who chipped in 15 points.
Gonzaga meets the victor of the North Carolina-Oregon for the national championship on Monday night.
North Carolina senior Kennedy Meeks delivered 25 points and 14 rebounds, including the final one that preserved their lead, as the Tar Heels held off an OR fightback from seven points down with just over three minutes remaining.
"That's my job to go to the rim and protect", Collins said.
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Meeks matched his career high with 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, the last to preserve the victory after the last of North Carolina's four missed free throws in the final 6 seconds.
"I've had some really, really tough teams".
"I really did say that".
The senior wasn't able to complete South Carolina's surprising tournament run, but he leaves Columbia having put together maybe the greatest postseason performance in school history.
They await the victor of Saturday night's other national semifinal game between No. 1 North Carolina and No. 3 Oregon.
The Sin-derella story finally ended Saturday for the South Carolina Gamecocks, but not until they threw a huge scare into Gonzaga in the first game of the Final Four. Assists-Oregon 7 (Ennis 3), North Carolina 16 (Pinson 5).
"Some days you have good days, some days you have a bad game", Felder said.
"I just didn't want to lose another game off a winning shot", said Joel Berry II, who missed the free throw that Meeks tore away from Jordan Bell to ice the game. He was leading the field in points per game during the NCAA Tournament heading into the Final Four. Williams-Goss was also ideal at the line, hitting all three foul shots.
Bell finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds, but needed No. 17 to give the Ducks a last shot.
Instead, the Zags (37-1) had another "rock fight", as Few called the West Virginia game, against the just-as-physical SC.
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Apr 01 2017