Only 13 teams have won the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament with either an undefeated or one-loss record. No team has done so since 1976 when Indiana went 32-0 en route to the national title.
Gonzaga, which is currently 36-1, can become team No. 14 on that list. It can also tie the record for most wins in a season, which is shared by the 2007-2008 Memphis Tigers and the Kentucky Wildcats from 2011-2012 and 2014-2015 (all teams coached by John Calipari).
Meanwhile, North Carolina can grab its sixth national championship, Oregon can take its first since 1939 (when it was known as the Webfoots) and South Carolina can win its first-ever title.
Here's a look at the odds, television schedule and predictions for Saturday's Final Four games.
Schedule and Odds
|Final Four Schedule (Saturday, April 1)|
|No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 7 South Carolina||GU (-7)||138||6:09 p.m.||CBS|
|No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 3 Oregon||UNC (-5)||152||8:49 p.m.||CBS|
|NCAA.com (schedule); OddsShark.com (odds)|
National Championship Odds
|National Championship Odds|
Gonzaga vs. South Carolina
The biggest matchup in this game will be between South Carolina sophomore forward Chris Silva and the 7-foot centers that he will face, senior Przemek Karnowski and freshman Zach Collins.
On paper, the centers have the physical edge. Karnowski stands at 7'1" and 300 pounds, while Collins is 7'0" and 230 pounds. Meanwhile, Silva is 6'9" and weighs 223.
Thankfully, Silva has two advantages on his side. First, he won't have to face both at the same time, as Karnowski and Collins don't share the floor. Second, Silva is also one of the more efficient players in men's college basketball, as he scores 10.1 points, grabs 5.9 rebounds and blocks 1.3 shots in just 20.1 minutes per game.
But there's a reason for that low minute total: Silva also commits 3.8 fouls per game. In fact, he has fouled out 10 times this season.
The key is whether Silva can avoid foul trouble when trying to physically match up with Gonzaga's trees down low. If he can manage to do so and stays on the court, then South Carolina has a good shot at taking this game. If not, then Gonzaga will move on to the finals.
The guess here is that Silva has a good game in the limited time he has on the court but does get a few fouls called against him early, sending him to the bench. Gonzaga will take advantage and hold on in a close, low-scoring game.
North Carolina vs. Oregon
UNC is the most dominant rebounding team in the nation, and there is no close second.
The Tar Heels out-rebounded their opponents by an average of 13.0 boards per game, which leads Division I. To put that number in perspective, Wichita State is second in rebounding margin at 9.0 a night, meaning UNC is four boards clear of every other Division I team in the country.
That will be a problem for the Ducks, especially with sophomore forward Chris Boucher (6.1 rebounds per game) out for the season with a torn ACL.
Granted, the Ducks still have junior forward Jordan Bell, who leads the team in rebounding with 8.6 per game and grabbed 13 against Kansas in the Elite Eight. Furthermore, Oregon has out-rebounded its four NCAA tournament opponents by 7.5 boards per game.
However, rebounding is a team effort for UNC. Eight Tar Heels average at least three rebounds per game, with senior forward Kennedy Meeks leading the team with 9.3.
UNC's rebounding will likely be one of the differences in this game. Another is that UNC has an incredible amount of depth, as nine players average at least 14 minutes per game. For Oregon, only six players in the Ducks rotation average at least 10 minutes per game.
Both of these facts should lead to a UNC win and a date with Gonzaga in Monday's national championship game.