NCAAB National Title Game

UNC vs Gonzaga (Zags) for the national championship.  Expecting a UNC comfortable win but rooting for the Zags. UNC has won 5 national championships and played in 11.  Zags never won it all and playing in its inaugural and probably only national championship game.

1st Half

UNC turns an early Zags turnover into a flush on the other end immediately.  Great hands by Berry, and perfect chest fade pass from Jackson to Pinson.

Joel Berry whistled for a foul on the 3.  Zags connect 2/3.  Meeks hit a nice #midrange (#12 loved it probably) which I did not know was a part of his game.  Meeks battling on the glass and forces Zags to knock it out of bounds.  Again, my heart breaks for you Oregon.  3′ in and its a lot of iso ball from the Zags.  Very little ball movement.  The Zag big misses a few times inside.  Both teams gone cold from the floor.  Zags finally hit a triple in transition answered right back by Berry.

UNC 8  Gonzaga 7  15:33′ 1st Half

Zags And1 on the 3.  ANOTHER fouled 3pt shooter for UNC.  I didn’t see it.  That wasn’t a foul.  But some UW perimeter D from UNC.

Zags miss the FT.  Meeks way off on a disastrous fading away shot.  UNC whistled for a foul on the airball.  UNC working inside out touching the post on every possession.  Zags invert and a G scores from the post.  Hate these 1-pass possessions for Gonzaga.  Move the ball move the defense.  UNC knifes in twice for layups to level the score.

Zag Gs carrying the offense.  thus far, Zags doing a nice job on the glass albeit Meeks has been on the bench awhile.  Zags somehow splash a 3 off a near turnover.  Zags feeling themselves as Roy Williams looks to get his regulars back in for UNC out of the Under12.

Gonzaga 19  UNC 14  10:52′ 1st Half

Zags miss consecutive open 3s which could have swelled the lead to 13.  UNC ice cold from the floor but Joel Berry And1 on the 3 making amends for his earlier foul.  Zags will rue those misses when the had a chance to really separate from the Zags.  Joel Berry misses the FT but this time the defense gets the rebound.  My heart still broken Oregon.  Zags big has no idea how to handle Meeks.  Bad turnover.  Jackson on the offensive boards with the stickback to get UNC within 2.

Good sign so far for the Zags

Gonzaga 21  UNC 19  7:53′ 1st Half

Jackson misses a transition 3 that could have given UNC the lead.  Zags now struggling to find some offense.  Lot of perimeter dribbling without much invention.  Leads to a soft call on an offensive foul on the Big.  Frankly, UNC has to be thrilled to be in this game right now given how its shooting and rebounding.  This Collins for the Zags made a couple plays but overall doesn’t appear to be much of an athlete.  I don’t see him contributing much at the NBA level.  Justin Jackson scores off the lob on the inbound.  That dude will be a nice NBA player I say without knowing hardly anything about the NBA.  He’s long so he should play for Milwaukee.  Zags again reverting to shooting without much passing and it doesn’t work.  Zags bailed out on a 1on3 drive with a foul.  Zags hit a 3 as UNC D gets lost in transition.  The make pushes the lead back to 7.  Perkins guy has 13/28 for the Zags.

Collins with a nice block and whistled for a foul despite being straight up.  Undeserved FTs for UNC out of the break.

Gonzaga 28  North Carolina 21  3:52′ 1st Half

UNC hits the Fts.  Zags holding a 5-point lead with under 3′ to the break.  Pretty drive and floater for the Zags.  Zags rotation on defense is terrible.  Don’t know if thats a communication thing or not but it was a mess of bodies bumping past each other and it leads to an easy 2 for UNC.  Zags Big misses another short one as he must not see a lot of guys who can match his physicality.  Absolute garbage call on a missed Berry 3 as the UNC guard flops to the ground in a manner that would make reggie miller blush.  He hits all 3 and just like that the Zags lead dwindles to 2.  Zags take advantage of an overly aggressive UNC D to get an open 3.  Meeks goes up-and-under for 2.  Zags Big AGAIN can’t connect over Meeks.  I mean these are good looks so I can’t say Zags should go away from him.  He fouls Meeks on the other end.  Both teams still have the “use it or lose it” TO to take.  Would expect the Zags to take theirs here after the FTs.  He misses both and nearly gathers the rebound, seriously Oregon :(.  Zags drive hard to get to the FT line.  Zags miss both this time.  Jackson forces a 3 and misses, Berry does the same.  But now UNC on the boards and get a shooting foul.  UNC hits both and we’re back to a 1-point game.  Now the Zags take the TO to set up a final shot.  Zags draw the foul with :06 left and head to the FT line for the 1-and-1.   Zags connect on both.  Berry misses a 3 at the horn.

HALFTIME:  Gonzaga 35  North Carolina 32

Stats from ESPN

  • Zags probably at an unsustainable 55.6% clip at 3.  UNC will undoubtedly improve on the 15.4% 3pt clip.
  • Zags hanging touch on the glass actually finishing +1 in the 1st half
  • UNC with the 5-2 edge in turnovers.  Perhaps more important for the Zags to limit UNC opportunities in transition.
Matchup Gonzaga North Carolina
FG Made-Attempted 12-30 11-36
Field Goal % 40.0 30.6
3PT Made-Attempted 5-9 2-13
Three Point % 55.6 15.4
FT Made-Attempted 6-10 8-12
Free Throw % 60.0 66.7
Total Rebounds 24 23
Offensive Rebounds 5 8
Defensive Rebounds 19 15
Team Rebounds 0 0
Assists 7 6
Steals 1 2
Blocks 2 3
Turnovers 5 2
Team Turnovers 0 0
Total Turnovers 5 2
Personal Fouls 9 8

2nd Half

2 careless turnovers by the Zags and UNC grabs the lead.  Zags airball and 2 fouls on the defensive glass.  Just a horrible start to the 2nd half for the Zags.  Few needs a TO.  Berry slips to Meeks for 2 and UNC on a 6-0 spurt to start the 2nd half.  Zags Big misses another short one. Just can’t get any rhythm.  Zags miss a short runner and Berry sticks a #midrange jumper.  UNC by 5.  Few still needs a TO.  Finally, Zags takes a TO.  Zags with a steal and draws a foul.  Maybe that sparks the Zags to attention here.  Collins with an And1. and after a couple of tough foul calls against him he needed that.

Collins with a strong rebound on defense and Zags draw a foul on the drive.  Game on.  Zags hit a corner 3 and Zags reclaim the lead.  Berry with a needless 3 and airball.  Zags cant get out of their own way.  Collins whistled for illegal screen.  His 4th.  That ineffective Big for the Zags is gonna be tired.

Gonzaga 41  North Carolina 40  15:53′ 2nd Half

UNC finally called for foul on the offensive boards colliding with Zags.  Meeks picks up his 3rd foul.  Teams already have 6 combined turnovers in the 2nd half.  Goss with a wild drive and miss for the Zags.  Some ugly basketball here with bad passes and wild misses. Zags Big FINALLY scores on a clumsy hustle play.  And1.

Berry misses a straight on 3 for the tie. Zags turn it over immediately as UNC show zone and leads to run out and easy 2.  Zags miss a 3 and UNC with a strong move for And1.  He collided with Zags and somehow stayed with it and muscled up the 2.  Missed the FT however but its still UNC by 1.  Zags Big gets the shooting foul.  Regardless in the 1st half the 2nd string lineup for UNC let the Zags claw out to a 7 point lead.  Right now the 2nd string giving the Tar Heels some good minutes and Zags are only up 1.  Zags show zone and Berry makes quick work of it to stick a 3.  Zags split a pair of FT.   Zags Perkins (13 1st half points) misses another 3 as he has lost the range.  Berry travels for UNC but no call.   Zags brick another 3 as the Zags Big doesn’t even both running the floor.  Berry another wild drive and turns it over. But Zags travel.  Man, this is ugly now.

btw, this was the 4th foul on Collins?  Are you kidding me?  Is this Duke-Wisconsin?

North Carolina 47  Gonzaga 46  10:51′ 2nd Half

There is some good defense but also a lot of bad shooting.  Zags showing a zone look.  1/2 from the FT line and we’re honors even with under 10′ to go.  Another nonsense call on the Zags.  This is atrocious officiating.  Hurt the Zags more but not like it’s been all UNC for the whistles or anything.  Meeks hits 1/2.  And this time Meeks gets his 4th on a little elbow.  Just ridiculous officiating.  He’s been doing that all game and now with 9:42 that gets him his 4th foul.  I mean, no sympathy for the NCAA cartel.  This is not the championship game you want to see.  Whistle after whistle.  At least Duke-Wisconsin the villain won and the officiating was decisive.  Here it’s just terrible all around and ruining the game.  Zags only 12/20 from the FT line and UNC 11/17.  Berry with a nice post up and jump hook for 2.  Zags Big misses yet another bunny.  Picking a bad moment to abandon his team.  Zags shooting just 18% in the 2nd half. Big hits both and we’re tied at 50.  Berry 3 rims out but Justin Jackson active and tips in the miss.  Zags feeding the Big.  But he just misses sitter after sitter.  He is also completely gassed.  Does draw a foul on Berry.  Although Berry got the ball clean and took a shot to his head for his troubles as he was roped down by the Zags Big.  Yet another bad call.  Oh good, a lengthy replay review. That’s what this game needed.  21 total fouls in the 2nd half according to Grant Hill.  Important in this interminable delay for this review.   They call a flagrant 2 on the Zags Big for some reason on a hustle play all around?  Berry misses both FTs.

UNC powers home 2 inside.  Is that true? Zags gone 7+’ without a basket.  Yet down just 2.

North Carolina 54  Gonzaga 52  7:21′ 2nd Half

Berry misses a 3 but Zags turn it over on the runout.  Dude slips down on the baseline.  UNC appears to hit a turnaround before the shot clock violation.  Given how its being called, Collins lucky  didn’t get his 5th.  Wasn’t a foul but tonight nearly everything is.  UNC up 56-52 and danger time now for the Zags.   Collins And1 (no?) well no foul call but pretty drop step for 2.  Wide open 3 banked in accidentally for the Zags and its a 1-pt game.  Jackson misses a turnaround and Collins fouls out getting out of position on the rebound.   UNC to the line for 2.  Line drive miss on the 1st.  So that means UNC will get the rebound on the next miss. dammit Oregon.  He makes the second and Meeks back in with 4 with 5′ left.  Zags well off on a 3 and more confusion among the officials.  They say it was deflected.  It wasn’t.  He was fouled but no call.  Big missed call because Zags hit a 3 to reclaim the lead.  Meeks double teamed and Berry hits a 3 of his own out of the double team.

Zags force a contested 3 and UNC ball up 2.   Jackson forces a 3 and way short.  Zags near turnover and ends in a shooting foul on UNC. Should have been And1.

North Carolina 62  Gonzaga 60  3:08′ 2nd Half

Zags can only make 1/2.  Good block out by Zags G. UNC with a quick 3 from not a shooter apparently.  Curious.  Zags G floats in for 2 and Zags have the lead as clock ticks towards 2′.  Jackson ties it at the line.  Zags have 9 misses and UNC 10 from the FT line.  Wisconsin beams.  Zags G taking over.  Backs down and smooth shot off the glass.  Jackson scores And1.  He converts and UNC has the lead with 90 seconds left.  Zags G hurts his ankle and Zags take a TO to give him time to recover.

North Carolina 66  Gonzaga 65  1:25′ 2nd Half  

UNC has the possession arrow.  Wonder if we’ll see zone from UNC out of the timeout.  Zags G misses the #midrange from the foul line.  UNC can take it under a minute.  Berry misses a 3 and tie up on the rebound.  UNC close it out again on the offensive glass?   Hicks with a strong move 1-on-1 off the window for 2 and a 3-pt lead for UNC.

WISCONSIN FEELS YOUR PAIN GONZAGA.  I’M SO SORRY IT HAD TO END LIKE THIS.

North Carolina 68  Gonzaga 65  :21.9 seconds

Zags force a bad shot and turn it over.  Berry ahead to Jackson for the dunk.  Rinse and repeat on the next possession and Berry to the line with UNC up 5.

FINAL  North Carolina 71  Gonzaga 65

Stats from ESPN

Matchup Gonzaga North Carolina
FG Made-Attempted 20-59 26-73
Field Goal % 33.9 35.6
3PT Made-Attempted 8-19 4-27
Three Point % 42.1 14.8
FT Made-Attempted 17-26 15-26
Free Throw % 65.4 57.7
Total Rebounds 48 46
Offensive Rebounds 12 15
Defensive Rebounds 36 31
Assists 11 15
Steals 2 7
Blocks 5 8
Total Turnovers 14 4
Personal Fouls 22 22
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