UNC Defeats Oregon to Advance to National Championship Game

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GREENVILLE, SC - MARCH 17: Justin Jackson #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts during their game against the Texas Southern Tigers during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 17, 2017 in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

UNC Defeats Oregon to Advance to National Championship Game

The North Carolina Tar Heels (1) defeated the Oregon Ducks (3) by a score of 77-76 in the second game of an exciting Final Four on Saturday night.

First Half

Both teams came out strong, as expected, to start this game. It was a low scoring first half, as Oregon struggled with turnovers (12) and North Carolina didn’t shoot the ball that well (40 percent). Tyler Dorsey, who has played very well for the Ducks this postseason, shot 0-4 from the field and recorded just four points in the first half of the game. Meanwhile, UNC began to take advantage of Oregon’s slip-ups.

This is the Tar Heels’ 20th Final Four appearance. Late in the first half, they began to look like the well-seasoned team that they are. North Carolina finished the first half on a 17-6 run, led by Kennedy Meeks‘ 14 points and five rebounds. They held a three-point lead at the half, 39-36.

Second Half

North Carolina came out ready to win this game in the second half. Justin Jackson got very comfortable in the corner from behind the arc, making three three-pointers early in the second half. Meanwhile, Meeks continued to showcase a stellar performance, finishing the game with 25 points (on 11-13 shooting) and 14 rebounds.

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Oregon’s issues were clear in their turnovers, but they also never seemed to really get into a good rhythm. This was important for them to do if they wanted to outlast a Tar Heels team that was taking advantage of nearly every opportunity they got off of turnovers and in transition to score the ball. Tyler Dorsey stepped it up in the second half, but it just wasn’t enough for Oregon.

The Ducks just couldn’t find their rhythm, even being within four points in the last minute. Jackson finished with 22 points for the Tar Heels, helping lead them to their 11th National Championship appearance.

North Carolina will face Gonzaga on Monday in Phoenix, Arizona, at 9:00 p.m. EST on CBS.

 

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