The 2017 NCAA men's national title game at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, is set after the Gonzaga Bulldogs and the North Carolina Tar Heels secured Final Four victories Saturday night.
The Bulldogs moved on to the championship showdown by virtue of a 77-73 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks in the first national semifinal, while the Tar Heels clinched a spot with a 77-76 triumph over the Oregon Ducks in the evening's final showdown.
Now all eyes will be trained on the title tilt, which will unfold Monday, April 3. The season's final game is scheduled to tip off at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.
Following a dramatic win over the Ducks, the Tar Heels are the only thing standing between the Bulldogs and the school's first national title:
Although Gonzaga was pushed to the limit by the Gamecocks—who ripped off a 16-0 second-half run and led with seven minutes to go—Mark Few's side was able to hang tough and counter with a few scoring spurts of its own to wrap up a spot in the final.
As the resilient performance exemplified, the Bulldogs are not exactly riddled with holes on either end of the floor. The numbers confirm as much, as evidenced by the team's No. 1 adjusted defensive efficiency and No. 12 adjusted offensive efficiency in KenPom.com's rankings.
That balance will make the Bulldogs hard to stop, but the Tar Heels should put up a fight if they can stay dominant on the offensive glass and follow the lead of Kennedy Meeks, who bailed his squad out with 25 points and 14 boards Saturday night.
But in order to avenge last year's title loss and take care of the Bulldogs, Meeks is going to need some help.
Gonzaga wields one of the nation's most dominant frontcourts thanks to the presences of Zach Collins and Przemek Karnowski, and those two figure to be a handful for Meeks if Isaiah Hicks and Tony Bradley don't perform up to par.
That said, the Tar Heels have the perimeter weapons to space out Gonzaga's stingy defense and make things interesting.
However, Joel Berry II (2-of-14 shooting) and Elite Eight hero Luke Maye (0-of-3 shooting) will have to come up with better performances in support of Justin Jackson after they scored 11 and two points, respectively, in Saturday's win.