The Gonzaga Bulldogs are one of the most dominating forces in college basketball right now. They will face the North Carolina Tar Heels in the National Championship game, Monday night. While the two programs are drastically different, Gonzaga is ready to prove that they belong with the elite.
In the history of the Gonzaga Bulldogs men’s basketball program, they have never won an NCAA Championship which is pretty shocking. Even more curious, they have never been in the Final Four so hopefully they can get a lot of firsts out of the way with a win tonight. This is unquestionably the best team in Gonzaga history so they have all of the confidence in the world they can play spoiler tonight.
UNC is known for greatness and winning championships however they have had some setbacks over the last couple of years including a heartbreaking, buzzer beater loss to Villanova in last years National championship game.
Now Gonzaga will look to be the spoiler as the Tar Heels will likely be in for another tough test. Gonzaga head coach, Mark Fewl hinted to the disparity between these two programs in terms of prestige during his postgame press conference after their victory against South Carolina.
“We don’t pretend or think we’re anywhere near the level with the tradition of Carolina or Duke or Kentucky. But at the same time, I think we do feel we’ve been a national entity for quite some time. The product, the brand, the players, the team that we’re putting out there on the floor – we feel can compete with anybody in the country on any given night.”
The Tar Heels are the favorite heading into this matchup but that should only help fuel the “Zags” quest to deliver an upset. Both teams have had a long road to get to this point, North Carolina’s physical battle with Oregon in the Final Four showed a championship caliber team that battled their way through what at times was a pretty lackluster performance.
UNC at several points throughout that contest appeared to be the smaller, more timid, team. It was some late game heroics that kept the Tar Heels the W but that still does not explain their puzzling struggles at the charity stripe in the fourth quarter. This is something coach Williams has to address if this team wants to put up a complete performance in the biggest game of the season.
Gonzaga beat the surprise powerhouse, South Carolina pretty easily. The “Zags” dominated the fourth quarter going on a run that showed their prowess for making clutch shots. In a weirder twist, both teams scored exactly the same amount of points (77) in their Final Four contests. The game will take place at 9:20 EST, Monday night and should be a classic for the ages. The game can be viewed on CBS and online at NCAA.com.