National Championship Game Pre-Game Notes

UNC Communications, UNC Communications
Tar Heel Illustrated

USA Today

GLENDALE, AZ – The following are some pre-game notes for the Gonzaga-North Carolina national championship game slated for Monday night at University of Phoenix Stadium:

• The University of North Carolina, champions of the South Regional, plays Gonzaga University, No. 1 seed and champions of the West Regional, in the national championship game on Monday, April 3. Game time is 9:19 p.m. Eastern (6:19 p.m. Pacific Time).

• Carolina, the No. 1 seed in the South Region, advanced to the title game with a 103- 64 win over No. 16 seed Texas Southern, a 72-65 win over No. 8 seed Arkansas, a 92-80 win over No. 4 seed Butler, a 75-73 win over No. 2 seed Kentucky and a 77-76 win over No. 3 seed Oregon.

• This is the first time Carolina has won consecutive NCAA Tournament games by two points or less since 1969 when it defeated Duquesne, 79-78, in the East semifinal and Davidson, 87-85, in the East final.

• Carolina is playing in the national championship game for the 11th time. The Tar Heels are 5-5 in the final (wins in 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009; losses in 1946, 1968, 1977, 1981 and 2016).

• UCLA (13) and Kentucky (12) have played in more title games. Duke is tied with UNC with 11. Kansas is fifth with nine.

• Carolina is 7-4 against No. 1 seeds in NCAA Tournament history. The last time the Tar Heels played a No. 1 seed they lost to Wisconsin in the 2015 Sweet 16 in Los Angeles (UNC was the No. 4 seed).

• The last time UNC beat a No. 1 seed was 2005 when the No. 1 seeded Tar Heels beat No. 1 seed Illinois in the national title game.

• Carolina is 3-0 in national championship games when both teams are No. 1 seeds (1982 vs. Georgetown, 1993 vs. Michigan and 2005 vs. Illinois).

• Carolina is tied for the third-most wins over a No. 1 seed with seven (Duke 9, Kansas 8, Carolina and Arizona 7).

• This is the second time in school history the Tar Heels are playing in the national championship game in consecutive seasons (1981, 1982 and 2016, 2017).

• The Tar Heels are 32-7 overall this year. They went 14-4 in the ACC to win the regular-season title by two games over Florida State, Notre Dame and Louisville.

• The Gonzaga game is the 40th of the season, tying the school record set in 2016.

• The game features the two head coaches with the highest active winning percentages in college basketball and two of the six best all-time in Gonzaga’s Mark Few (No. 3 at .818) and Carolina’s Roy Williams (No. 6 at .790).


• Carolina is playing in the Final Four for a record 20th time. No other school has more than 17 Final Four appearances.

• Carolina has played in the Final Four in 1946, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1988, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2016 and 2017.

• Carolina is the only school to play in the Final Four in eight different decades.

• Carolina has won the NCAA title in 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009.

• The Tar Heels are 17-16 in Final Four games (including consolation round games).

• The Tar Heels are 11-9 in national semifinals with wins in 1946, 1957, 1968, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2016 and 2017.

• The Tar Heels lost to Villanova, 77-74, in the 2016 national championship game.

• One-hundred seventy-one (171) Tar Heels have played in the Final Four, more than any other school.


• Carolina is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the 48th time. That is the second-most appearances behind Kentucky (56).

• This is UNC’s 44th appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the last 51 years.

• Carolina is first in NCAA Tournament history in Final Fours (20), second in appearances (48), second in wins (122), second in games (167), second in winning percentage (.731) and tied for third in championships (five).

• Carolina’s win over Oregon was its 122nd NCAA Tournament win. Only three other schools have played that many NCAA Tournament games (Kentucky, Kansas and Duke).

• Carolina is 29-1 in the round of 64, 29-12 in the round of 32, 27-8 in regional semifinals, 19-7 in regional finals, 11-9 in national semifinals and 5-5 in national championship games.


• Carolina was the No. 1 seed in the South Region. This was the 16th time UNC earned a No. 1 since seeds were established in 1979.

• Carolina has been a No. 1 seed more times than any other school. Duke and Kansas are tied for second with 13; Kentucky has 12.

• Carolina has been a No. 1 seed in 1979, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1991,1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2016 and 2017.

• Carolina has advanced to the Final Four 10 times as a No. 1 seed – 1982, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2016 and 2017.

• Roy Williams has earned a No. 1 seed for the 12th time. Only Mike Krzyzewski (13) has more. Dean Smith and Bill Self are tied for third with eight.

• Carolina is 60-11 as a No. 1 seed.


• Roy Williams is making his 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament in his 29th year as a head coach. • Kansas was not eligible to play in the 1989 NCAA Tournament when Williams became the Jayhawks’ head coach; UNC played in the 2010 NIT.

• Williams is the third coach to lead his teams to the national championship game six times, joining John Wooden (10) and Mike Krzyzewski (9).

Championship Games, Head Coach

10 John Wooden, UCLA

9 Mike Krzyzewski, Duke

6 Roy Williams, UNC & Kansas

5 Dean Smith, UNC

5 Adolph Rupp, Kentucky

• Williams led KU to the title game in 1991 vs. Duke, 2003 vs. Syracuse, 2005 vs. Illinois, 2009 vs. Michigan State, 2016 vs. Villanova and 2017 vs. Gonzaga.

• Williams is 2-3 in national finals, winning the title in 2005 and 2009.

• Williams has won 75 NCAA Tournament games – only six schools (Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, UCLA and Louisville) have that many NCAA Tournament wins.

• Williams is second in NCAA Tournament wins (75), second in games (99), third in winning percentage among coaches with at least 50 games (.758), fourth in Final Fours (9), tied for fifth in NCAA Tournaments (27), tied for sixth in titles (2), and is the only coach to win a game in 27 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

• Williams is 75-24 overall in the NCAA Tournament, including 41-10 at Carolina and 34-14 at Kansas.

• Williams is fourth in Final Fours as a head coach with nine. Only John Wooden (12), Mike Krzyzewski (12) and Dean Smith (11) have more.

• This is the third time Williams has led teams to the Final Four in consecutive seasons – 2002 and 2003 while at Kansas, and 2008 and 2009, and 2016 and 2017 as the head coach of the Tar Heels.

• Williams is 27-0 in the first round (13-0 at Carolina), 18-9 in the second round (9-4 at UNC), 13-5 in the Sweet 16 (8-1 at UNC), 9-4 in the Elite Eight (5-3 at UNC), 6-3 in national semifinals (4-1 at UNC) and 2-3 in the championship game (2-1 at UNC).

• Williams is 41-9 as a No. 1 seed, including 32-4 at Carolina.


Kennedy Meeks tied his career high with 25 points and added 14 rebounds and three steals and Justin Jackson hit four three-pointers en route to 22 points as the Tar Heels held on for a 77-76 win over Oregon, champions of the Midwest Regional.

• This is the second time in school history the Tar Heels have reached the title game in back-to-back years (lost in 1981, won in 1982; lost in 2016, playing Gonzaga in 2017).

• This was the first time Carolina has won an NCAA Tournament game by a single point since beating Villanova, 67-66, in the 2005 Sweet 16 in Syracuse.

• This was just the fifth time in 39 games this year the Tar Heels did not out-rebound the opponents (the second time they had the same number of rebounds). Oregon was out-rebounding UNC by two until the final two offensive rebounds on missed free throws in the last six seconds. The teams ended the game tied at 43 in rebounds.

• It was UNC’s lowest field goal percentage in an NCAA Tournament win since shooting 35.9 percent (23 of 64) vs. Princeton on March 17, 1967, in the regional semifinals in College Park, Md. That was UNC’s eighth NCAA Tournament win (the Oregon win was the 122nd).

• It was UNC’s lowest field goal percentage in a win this year (previous .371 vs. Louisville).

• It was the fifth time two Tar Heels scored 20 or more points in a national semifinal (Kennedy Meeks 25, Justin Jackson 22). The others were 1972 vs. Florida State (Robert McAdoo 24, Dennis Wuycik 20), 1993 vs. Kansas (Donald Williams 25, Eric Montross 23), 2005 vs. Michigan State (Sean May 22, Jawad Williams 20) and 2009 vs. Villanova (Ty Lawson 22, Wayne Ellington 20).

• It was the most points by a Tar Heel in the national semifinals since Donald Williams had 25 in 1993.

• Meeks also had 25 points vs. Temple in the first game of the 2015-16 season.

• Meeks tied his career high with 11 field goals (also at Florida State on 2/17/14).

25 Points, 10+ Rebounds, 80% FG Last Four Players in the Final Four

Kennedy Meeks (25 & 14, 11-13 FG) vs. Oregon

Sam Perkins, UNC, 1982 vs. Houston

Magic Johnson, Michigan State, 1979 vs. Penn

Larry Bird, Indiana State, 1979 vs. DePaul

25 Points, 14 Rebounds in Final Four Last 40 Years

Kennedy Meeks vs. Oregon

Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse, 2003 vs. Texas

Ed O’Bannon, UCLA, 1995 vs. Arkansas

Danny Manning, Kansas, 1988 vs. Oklahoma

Larry Bird, Indiana State, 1979 vs. DePaul

• Meeks made 11 of 13 field goals, a percentage of .846 which ties the fifth-best in Final Four history. It tied the third highest percentage in national semifinal history.

Highest Field Goal Percentage, Final Four History

.955 Bill Walton, UCLA vs. Memphis, 1973

.909 Jerry Lucas, Ohio State vs. St. Joe’s 1961

.909 Billy Thompson, Louisville vs. LSU, 1986

.909 Sean May, UNC vs. Illinois, 2005

.846 Kennedy Meeks vs. Oregon

.846 Bill Walton, UCLA vs. Louisville, 1972

• It was Meeks’ 13th double-double of the year and the 25th of his career.

• It was his seventh 20-point scoring game of his career and third this season.

• Meeks had 14 rebounds and moved past Brice Johnson for fifth in UNC history in career rebounds with 1,042. Johnson had 1,035. Billy Cunningham is fourth with 1,062.

• Meeks has 11, 11, 17 and 14 rebounds in the last four games – the last time a Tar Heel had double-figure rebounds in four straight NCAA Tourney games was 1997 and 98, when Antawn Jamison did it in six consecutive games.

• Meeks has 129 rebounds in 16 NCAA Tournament games in his career. That equals the third most by a Tar Heel in NCAA play behind 146 by Tyler Hansbrough and 138 by George Lynch.

Most NCAA Tournament Rebounds, UNC Career

146 Tyler Hansbrough

138 George Lynch

129 Kennedy Meeks

129 Sam Perkins

129 Rusty Clark

• Meeks has 368 rebounds this year, seventh most in UNC single-season history.

• Meeks had eight offensive rebounds, the most in his career in an NCAA Tourney game (had seven vs. Arkansas this year).

• Meeks’ eight offensive rebounds were the most by a Tar Heel in an NCAA Tournament game since Tyler Zeller had eight vs. Ohio in the 2012 Sweet 16.

• Justin Jackson scored 22 points, the 19th time this year he scored 20 or more.

• Jackson made four three-pointers (three in the second half). It was the 13th time this year he made four or more 3FGs; he did that one time in his first two seasons.

• Jackson has 29 career three-pointers in NCAA Tournament play, third most all time by a Tar Heel (39 by Marcus Paige, 38 by Donald Williams).

Most NCAA Tournament 3FGs, UNC Career

39 Marcus Paige

38 Donald Williams

29 Justin Jackson

28 Wayne Ellington

28 Shammond Williams

• Jackson has 223 career points in the NCAA Tournament, the fourth most ever by a Tar Heel.

Most NCAA Tournament Points, UNC Career

325 Tyler Hansbrough

229 Wayne Ellington

227 Sam Perkins

223 Justin Jackson

222 Eric Montross

• Jackson has 715 points this year, the second most in any season by a Tar Heel under head coach Roy Williams. It is the third time in the last 14 seasons a Tar Heel has scored 700 points in a season (Tyler Hansbrough 882 in 2008 and 704 in 2009).

• Theo Pinson had eight points, eight rebounds and led UNC in assists with five, the ninth time this year he led the team in assists. Pinson tied his career high with four offensive rebounds (fourth time, second time this year), the fourth of which was the offensive rebound tip out with five seconds to play that helped secure the win.

• Pinson made a three-pointer with 10:38 to play, his first since the ACC quarterfinals vs. Miami and only his third in the last 10 games.

• Nate Britt, Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks have played in 16 NCAA Tournament games and won 13. The national championship game vs. Gonzaga will be their 17th NCAA Tournament game, which will tie the second most in Carolina history.

Most NCAA Tournament Games, UNC Career

19 Pat Sullivan, 1991, ‘92, ‘93, ‘95

17 Danny Green, 2006, ‘07, ‘08, ‘09

17 Tyler Hansbrough, 2006, ‘07, ‘08, ‘09

17 Quentin Thomas, 2005, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08

17 George Lynch, 1990, ‘91, ‘92, ‘93

16 Nate Britt

16 Isaiah Hicks

16 Kennedy Meeks

• Britt, Hicks and Meeks have played in 13 NCAA Tournament wins. Pat Sullivan played in 16. Danny Green, Tyler Hansbrough, Quentin Thomas and George Lynch played in 14.

Most NCAA Tournament Wins, UNC Career

16 Pat Sullivan, 1991, ‘92, ‘93, ‘95

14 Danny Green, 2006, ‘07, ‘08, ‘09

14 Tyler Hansbrough, 2006, ‘07, ‘08, ‘09

14 Quentin Thomas, 2005, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08

14 George Lynch, 1990, ‘91, ‘92, ‘93

13 Nate Britt

13 Isaiah Hicks

13 Kennedy Meeks

• Carolina held Oregon to 37.9 percent shooting from the floor. That’s the fifth time in as many games in the 2017 NCAA Tournament the opponents have shot under 44 percent from the floor. This is the first time since 2000 the Tar Heels held their first five opponents in the NCAA Tourney to under 44 percent shooting from the floor. UNC’s defense has never accomplished that in a six-game NCAA Tournament series in one year.

• Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey made 12 of 12 free throws. The 12 free throws are the most against UNC in NCAA Tournament history and are the most made without a miss by any opponent in NCAA Tourney history. • Sean Elliott made 11 for Arizona in 1988 and Wilt Chamberlain made 11 for Kansas in 1957.

• Maurice Ager (Michigan State, 2005), Herbert Crook (Louisville, 1986) and Ron King (Florida State, 1972) each were 10 for 10 from the line in NCAA play vs. the Tar Heels.

• Oregon had 43 rebounds, season high by a UNC opponent.

• Jordan Bell had 16 rebounds, most against UNC this year.

• Oregon shot 89.3 percent from the free throw line (25 of 28), the highest percentage by a Tar Heel opponent this year.


Monday, April 3, 2017, approximately 9:19 p.m. Eastern (6:19 p.m. Phoenix Time)

University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale, Ariz.

TV: CBS – Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson

UNC Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network – Jones Angell, Eric Montross, Adam Lucas, Dave Nathan

Westwood One Radio: Kevin Kugler, Clark Kellogg, Jim Gray

Satellite Radio: Sirius/XM 84

North Carolina Tar Heels

(No. 1 seed South)

2016-17 Record: 32-7, 14-4 ACC (1st)

Head Coach: Roy Williams (UNC ‘72)

Williams’ Overall Record: 815-216 (29th year)

Williams’ Record at UNC: 397-115 (14th year)

Gonzaga Bulldogs

(No. 1 seed West)

2016-17 Record: 37-1, 17-1 WCC (1st)

Head Coach: Mark Few

Few’s Overall Record: 503-112 (18th year)

Few’s Record at Gonzaga: same

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