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North Carolina Tar Heels 2-Point Favorite over Gonzaga in NCAA National Title Game

( [email protected] ) Apr 02, 2017 10:11 PM EDT
North Carolina Tar Heels will enter Monday's 2017 NCAA national championship game as a two-point favorite over fellow No.1 Gonzaga.
North Carolina Tar Heels will enter Monday's 2017 NCAA national championship game as a two-point favorite over fellow No.1 Gonzaga. Ronald Martinez via Getty Images

North Carolina will enter Monday's 2017 NCAA national championship game as a two-point favorite over fellow No.1 Gonzaga.

Todd Fuhrman, former odds at Caesars Palace and co-founder of NFL betting podcast Bet the Board, tweeted that the Tar Heels are slightly favored in the battle of the top two squads in college basketball.

If North Carolina maintains its point spread, it will be the first time all season that Gonzaga enters a game as underdog, according to ESPN.

The national championship game will be played Monday 9 p.m. on CBS with Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill and Tracy Wolfson as announcers.

Gonzaga (37-1) made it to the finals after beating South Carolina, 77-73, despite losing a 14-point lead while North Carolina (32-7) escaped with a 77-76 win over Oregon in Saturday's Final Four at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Point guard Nigel Williams-Goss tallied 23 points, five rebounds and six assists while freshman center Zach Collins posted a double-double with 14 points and 14 boards with six blocks off the bench.

"Man, just an awesome, awesome basketball game, with just how hard both teams competed," said Few, who carried Gonzaga to its first national championship game. "I mean, that run South Carolina made on us, that just shows the heart of a lion that they have. It took everything we had to hold them off and come back."

Guard PJ Dozier scored 17 points while Sindarius Thornwell, who was averaging a tournament-best 25.8 points, was limited to just 15 points for the No. 7 Gamecocks.

"What these kids have done is pretty special," said a teary-eyed South Carolina coach Frank Martin, who carried South Carolina to its first Final Four appearance. "When you get people to travel across the country by the masses because they believe in what you do, it's powerful stuff. And they've impacted our community in an unbelievable way, which is worth so much more than the score of a game."

Meanwhile, center Kennedy Meeks grabbed a game-clinching board to carry North Carolina to its second straight national championship appearance. The Tar Heels were also a 2-point favorite over Villanova but lost to the Wildcats last season.

Meeks scored 25 points while Justin Jackson added 22 for the Tar Heels while Tyler Dorsey scored 21 points for the Ducks (33-6).