Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material can't be published, transferred, copied or redistributed.
Either way, one team will become only the second champion since 2000 - joining 2005 North Carolina, which went 3-3 against the spread - to navigate through the bracket without covering in the majority of their games.
Karnowski missed the final five minutes of the first half against SC when his right eye was scratched.
North Carolina is looking to amend a loss in the national title game previous year.
Asked what advantage North Carolina might have on Gonzaga, Bulldogs coach Mark Few simply quipped, "Coaching".
Bottom line: This has the makings of a classic that could be decided with the dirty work inside. "Start with that. I mean he's been in this game, like, 17 times and this is the first for me".
"I think we're a great duo", Karnowski said. OR signed three recruits for next season, giving it the maximum of 13 scholarships filled unless players leave early for the National Basketball Association or transfer.
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.
But the Tar Heels prevailed.
Of course, North Carolina has matchup issues of its own. "I think we understand each other really well on the floor". He could oppose senior Jordan Mathews, who can stretch defenders and has made 15 3-pointers in five NCAA games for Gonzaga. "And we're here to win it".
Williams-Goss left the sputtering Huskies program for just this sort of opportunity. Last year's national semifinals were both blowouts, with a combined 61-point margin.
Later, with six minutes left in the game and OR trailing, North Carolina's center Kennedy Meeks jumped for what looked like open dunk, but Ennis blocked it. Meeks is eight inches taller and outweighs Ennis by sixty pounds. The Tar Heels have made just enough plays all year to keep winning, and they'll find whatever magic they need again when the lights come on on April. 3. He had 14 rebounds, including eight off the offensive glass.
"We faced a really good offensive rebounding team in SC".
North Carolina has three reserves averaging at least 5.0 points per game in the tournament. That is going to be an interesting matchup considering Berry has been hobbled with ankle issues the entire tournament.
"That was the theme of the trip, you know, "getting comfortable with being uncomfortable" and that's something that we still call back onto to this day", recalled Nigel Williams-Goss.
Will the Tar Heels assert their usual dominance in the paint?
BYU was 20-10 overall, 12-6 in the WCC, down 18-2 in the first few minutes and behind 41-35 at halftime on February 26 on the Zags' court in Spokane, Wash.
Will the last team standing be blue blood or new blood? Gonzaga has been more impressive than North Carolina in this area during the run of the NCAA Tournament. For Gonzaga, the peak has never been closer.
Their pedigrees are different, but both teams are loaded with veterans.
"I've had some really, really tough teams", Few said. "These guys are all of that". I was quite impressed by how they finished the game after that terrible four-minute stretch. The mid-major that has finally made it to the Final Four.
Daniel Incerpi, the president of the basketball team's highly motivated booster club, grew up going to Catholic school and wanted a similar experience in college. The other two - Danny Manning and Anthony Davis.
Mason emerged over a group of finalists that included Lonzo Ball (UCLA), Caleb Swanigan (Purdue) and Josh Hart (Villanova). I was not a big believer in SC even after their impressive upset win over Duke.
"I'm interested to see the head-to-head early on, because some big guys, the first time they play against Przemek it's a little eye-opening", Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd said. Manning won the Wooden, NABC and Naismith player of the year awards in 1988.
The Wooden Award will be presented on Friday in Los Angeles. Coach Mark Few is in uncharted waters, but the fisherman from OR is ready to see if he can finally reel in a prize blueblood with the winning buckets.