No. 1 seed North Carolina beat third-seeded Oregon 77-76 on Saturday to advance to Monday’s national championship game against Gonzaga.
Earlier Saturday night, Gonzaga beat South Carolina 77-73 to reach the title game.
The Tar Heels, who lost to Villanova in last year’s national title game, will be seeking their sixth NCAA Tournament championship and third under coach Roy Williams.
North Carolina (32-7) went 14-4 in the ACC to capture the conference’s regular season title, but slumped a bit ahead of the NCAA Tournament. They went 2-2 going into the tourney, including a loss to in-state rivals Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinals.
Despite that, they still captured the South Region’s No. 1 seed, setting a record with their 16th such seeding.
The Oregon Ducks (33-6) overcame the loss of shot-blocking forward Chris Boucher to an ACL tear in the Pac-12 tournament to make their first Final Four since winning the inaugural NCAA Tournament in 1939.
The Ducks ended Michigan’s run in the Sweet 16 and then upset No. 1 seed Kansas in the Midwest Region final to reach the Final Four.
No matter who wins Monday night, there will be a new national champion. Defending national champion Villanova was eliminated in the round of 32 by Wisconsin. The last back-to-back NCAA champion was Florida in 2006 and 2007.
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