UNC vs. Gonzaga 2017: Game Time and Stats to Know for National Title Game

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 2, 2017

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 01: Przemek Karnowski #24 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts after defeating the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 1, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. Gonzaga defeated South Carolina 77-73. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

North Carolina and Gonzaga will face off in the NCAA Division I men's basketball championship game on Monday, April 3 at 9:20 p.m. ET.

The game will take place at the University of Phoenix Stadium (the home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals) in Glendale, Arizona. CBS will televise the event, and fans can live-stream the game through March Madness Live.

Here's a look at three stats to know for each team heading into the national title contest.

UNC Stats

1. UNC's Rebounding Margin

The Tar Heels are No. 1 in rebounding margin out of 351 Division I teams, out-rebounding their opponents by an average of 13 boards per night. Senior forward Kennedy Meeks leads the UNC charge on the glass, as he grabs 9.3 rebounds a game.

It's been a big advantage at times this season, namely in a 75-73 win over Kentucky in the Elite Eight. UNC dominated down low all night and out-rebounded Kentucky 44-34 (it also blocked nine shots compared to UK's two).

However, Gonzaga isn't too far behind, ranking 10th in that statistic (7.2). The Bulldogs also have two 7' centers in Przemek Karnowski and Zach Collins who could give UNC's big men trouble.

2. Justin Jackson's Scoring

The smooth junior forward has played very well in the NCAA tournament, leading UNC in scoring with 20.1 points per game.

If Justin Jackson is hot from beyond the three-point arc, watch out. He hit four of nine three-pointers against Oregon en route to 22 points in the Final Four and also made five of eight threes in a 21-point performance (in just 23 minutes) against Texas Southern in the first round.

The ACC Player of the Year is shooting 38 percent from three-point range this season, up from 29.2 percent last year.

3. Title No. 6

With a win on Monday, UNC would become just the third team in Division I history to win at least six national championships. UCLA has won the most with 11, and Kentucky is second with eight. UNC is currently tied for third at five titles with Indiana and Duke.

Head coach Roy Williams would also win his third national championship, tying him with Indiana basketball legend Bobby Knight.

Gonzaga Stats

1. Gonzaga's Efficient Defense

The Bulldogs are No. 1 in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom.com, and it is also second in field-goal percentage defense (36.5).

Junior point guard Nigel Williams-Goss leads Gonzaga's defensive efforts with 1.8 steals per game, and Collins is a pain for opposing teams down low, blocking 1.6 shots per night in just 17.2 minutes on average.

Collins also just broke out in a big way on Saturday, as he blocked six shots to go along with 14 points and 13 rebounds in just 23 minutes of play.


2. Gonzaga's Efficient Offense

The Zags' offense sputtered a bit in the first three rounds, but it has come on strong in the last two games. In the Elite Eight against Xavier, Gonzaga made half of its 24 three-pointers and crushed the Musketeers, 83-59 after a 49-point first half.

The Bulldogs then shot 48.3 percent from the field and hit nine of 19 three-pointers in the Final Four against South Carolina, one of the best defensive teams in Division I.

As a team, the Bulldogs shoot 50.9 percent from the field, which is second only to UCLA in Division I.

3. Calipari Might Have Company

If Gonzaga wins on Monday, it will be just the fourth team in Division I history to win 38 games in a season. The other three were 2007-08 Memphis and the 2011-12 and 2014-15 Kentucky teams, all of whom were coached by John Calipari.

Gonzaga would also be the 14th team in Division I history to win a title with an undefeated or one-loss record. No team has done that since 1976, when Indiana was 32-0 and beat Michigan for the national title.


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