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Hobbled Berry plays through pain for UNC in Final Four win

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Meeks' career night helps lift Heels to title game

Which he hasn't. And nearly wasn't. With the mass exodus that came after UNC's terrific 2012, a year where a broken bone in Kendall Marshall's wrist was likely the only thing standing between those Tar Heels squaring off with Anthony Davis' Kentucky Wildcats for a national title, Williams had one big man on his roster that could handle the rigors of the college game, and that was James Michael McAdoo.

Freshman Zach Collins delivered 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks in 23 minutes as Gonzaga knocked off SC, 77-73. "And, you know, we just heard everything this year". And we were all really confident whether they went zone or they went man.

Nigel Williams-Goss scored 23 points, Gonzaga's big men combined for 27 and the Bulldogs kept SC from taking a game-tying shot in a 77-73 victory Saturday night in a matchup of first-time teams at the Final Four.

The 6-foot-4 sophomore has moved into the second round in some mock drafts while the 6-9 Bell has been considered a likely second-round pick who also improved his National Basketball Association status by averaging 13 rebounds in his final seven games with five double-doubles during that stretch. Then, Duke fell to SC and Louisville fell to MI. "And they limit you to one shot".

Gonzaga swingman Johnathan Williams bumped and bruised Sindarius Thornwell throughout the Final Four, shadowing his every step, preventing the SC star from getting the ball, much less a good shot. "The whole time (outsiders) were thinking we weren't gonna get here and we got here". "I think both these teams are probably facing for the first time depth that mirrors each other inside, but also a willingness to just keep going and going in there whether it's off the pass or even off of offensive rebounds to generate a lot of offense inside out".

For The Win caught up with Thompson during the game, a 77-73 loss that put an end to a miracle run. Theo Pinson made a brilliant play, reaching around Bell and tapping the ball out to Joel Berry II after Kennedy Meeks missed two free throws with 5.8 seconds left.

In total, the Zags' opponents on average have secured 10.7 offensive rebounds per game. By the end of the first half, the score was already 45-36. "[Meeks] shot it, and I wasn't ready".

"What these kids have done is pretty special", said SC coach Frank Martin, tearing up at times in the news conference. "You're trying to tip it out or get a rebound".

One of the weird things about this job is that you're asked regularly to publicly predict the outcomes of games, which leads to you looking stupid - or, at least, wrong - way more often than you'd prefer.

The Gamecocks had erased a 14-point deficit and took a 67-65 lead with 7:06 to play. Gonzaga and North Carolina have set up a winner-take-all against each other after winning Saturday by a combined five points. It was that kind of day for Collins. West Virginia was an excellent rebounding team. But there are further consequences for the go-go Tar Heels - what makes them so special is their combination of speed and physicality.

National championship, Monday, 6 p.m. PDT. The Tar Heels missed their final five shot attempts and were 6 of 13 from the free-throw line the rest of the way. North Carolina will still be the biggest challenge of Gonzaga's season, particularly if Meeks and Justin Jackson repeat their performance from Saturday.

"If it wasn't for Kennedy Meeks, we wouldn't have been in the basketball game", Carolina coach Roy Williams said.

Gonzaga (37-1) is in the Final Four for the first time, while North Carolina (32-7) is in the Final Four for a record 20th time.

Tyler Dorsey, nicknamed Mr. March for his sensational shooting in the tournament, led OR with 21 points, but scored more from the free-throw line (12) than from three-point range (nine).

Dorsey hit a 3-pointer that rolled around the rim to bring the third-seeded Ducks within 77-74 with 42 seconds left. He played one of his best games of the season, but unfortunately it will be forgotten because of Oregon's 77-76 poignant loss to North Carolina.

When Oregon needed that heart against North Carolina, he provided it, but it wasn't enough.

With Boucher in the lineup, the Ducks were arguably the favorite to win the national title. Dylan Ennis, who played out his final year of eligibility, tried to look at the positive. He is not often called upon to be a leading scorer, but when the Tar Heels went cold against Oregon, Meeks dominated with 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting. He was 3 of 11 from the field and 12 of 12 from the line.

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