North Carolina 71, Gonzaga 65
How Gonzaga lost: No. 1 Gonzaga (37-2) fell just short of defeating No. 1 North Carolina (33-7) in the NCAA championship game, losing 71-65 Monday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
North Carolina, which defeated Oregon 77-76 in the Final Four on Saturday, scored the game's final eight points to erase a 65-63 deficit with 1:53 remaining after Nigel Williams-Goss scored on a jump shot for Gonzaga.
The game-clincher came on a breakaway dunk from NC's Justin Jackson following center Kennedy Meeks blocking a shot by Williams-Goss with Gonzaga down three points. Jackson's dunk made the score 70-65 with 12 seconds remaining in the game.
Both teams played horribly. Gonzaga shot 33.9 percent on 20-of-59 shooting. That was compounded by 14 turnovers compared to four for North Carolina. The Tar Heels were brutal on offense, making just 26 of 73 shots (35.6 percent) and shot 4 of 27 from three-point range.
Key sequence: The brick-littered game appeared to be destined for a close finish, and the Bulldogs had the upper hand for a brief moment after Williams-Gosss' jumper game Gonzaga a lead, 65-63. Jackson scored to tie then Williams-Gosss fouled him seconds later leading to a free throw that gave NC a 66-65 lead with 1:40 on the clock.
Williams-Gosss followed up by missing a jump shot that led to Meeks scoring on a jumper following him corralling an offensive rebound following a missed shot by Joel Berry II. That made the score 68-65, NC with 26 seconds remaining.
Williams-Gosss came back again to try to tie it but had his shot blocked by Meeks, leading to the Jackson dunk to ice the game.
Top performers: Williams-Gosss led Gonzaga with 15 points on 5-of-17 shooting. He also had six assists and nine rebounds.
Josh Perkins had 13 points and five rebounds for the Bulldogs.
Berry was named Final Four MVP after giving NC 22 points and six assists. NC forward Isaiah Hicks had 13 points and nine rebounds.
Poor performances: Justin Jackson, NC's best player, made just 6 of 19 shots and went 0 for 9 from three-point range. But he made some clutch baskets late.
Przemek Karnowski had a rough night inside against North Carolina's big men. He finished 1 of 8 from the field for nine points and nine rebounds.