A really good start for Gonzaga so far. Bulldogs are up 19-14 with 10:33 left in the first half. Their guards are able to penetrate against the smaller backcourt of North Carolina. Josh Perkins already with two threes. And on the inside, Przemek Karowski and Zach Collins are handling the Tar Heels with a 13-7 rebounding edge.
Gonzaga started to assert itself with a three by Jordan Mathews and a dunk by Zach Collins, giving the Bulldogs a 14-10 edge. But Justin Jackson and Nate Britt both responded with buckets to even things. Both teams are playing fast with shots flying early in the possession. Gonzaga’s big men holding their own against North Carolina early.
A little bit of a ragged start with both teams shooting quickly and the size of the big men cancelling each other out. Four minutes in, the shots start falling with Josh Perkins of Gonzaga hitting a three, which is quickly answered by Joel Berry’s own three that gives North Carolina an 8-7 edge with 15:33 left in the half.
A steal by North Carolina’s Joel Berry leads to a dunk by Theo Pinson for the first points of the game. But then Berry fouls Josh Perkins on a three-point attempt. Perkins hits two of three and we’re tied 2-2 early.
The national anthem has been sung. The starters for North Carolina in their white uniforms and Gonzaga in their blue duds have been introduced. About to get started in Glendale.
It’s reunion night for Gonzaga at University of Phoenix Stadium. Approximately 60 former players, including John Stockton and Adam Morrison are in attendance as the Bulldogs take aim at their first national title.
There will also be plenty of ex-North Carolina players in attendance as the Tar Heels look to win their sixth championship, moving them out of a tie with Duke and Indiana for third all-time behind UCLA (11) and Kentucky (8).
It’s come down to this. The last two No. 1 seeds remaining in the NCAA tournament will meet for the men’s basketball championship.
Gonzaga and North Carolina clash Monday night in Glendale, Ariz., with a tipoff time of 9:20 p.m. ET.