Sunday, April 2, 2017
Gonzaga Vs. North Carolina in NCAA championship
North Carolina is led by junior guards Justin Jackson and Joel Berry II, averaging 18.3 and 14.5 points per game, respectively. Their offense is ranked No. 7 in the country, and their defense is ranked No. 16. But to understand how the Tar Heels made it this far, you have to look at how their point distributions go. The Tar Heels do not shoot a lot of threes, and instead just relentlessly pound the ball into the hoop or step back and take an open jumper. The offense is a nightmare to deal with in that regard, because opponents have to shadow each and every player on the floor. The prime example of this is center Kennedy Meeks. Meeks averages 12.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, but he is hardly your prototypical center. Nearly 50 percent of his points come from two point jumpers Gonzaga has made its name all tournament with its defense, and so far the defense has continually delivered results. But the championship game will be a different offensive beast in the Tar Heels. Against South Dakota State, West Virginia, and Xavier, the defense was stellar for the full forty minutes. Against Northwestern and South Carolina, there were a few blips on the radar. The important thing to note here is that, unlike previous Gonzaga squads, the wheels never seemed to come off at that point. But if Gonzaga’s defense is focused, and doing what it does best all game, North Carolina is really going to struggle to find easy points. North Carolina likes to pick up the pace, and is great at passing the ball. Gonzaga is also great at clogging the passing lanes. No matter what, Gonzaga is going to need a full forty minutes of defense to make this all work.