Gonzaga, North Carolina Win Final Four Games to Advance to NCAA National Championship

The two teams will face off on Monday, April 3.

This is a photo of Oregon.

Image via Getty/Ronald Martinez

This is a photo of Oregon.

The 2017 NCAA National Championship game is set, and it will pit a traditional power against a school looking for its first triumph on college basketball's biggest stage. Gonzaga and North Carolina will play for the title on Monday night after winning their respective Final Four matchups on Saturday evening.

Gonzaga finally got over the hump this season, shaking off ghosts of tournaments past on their way to the title game. The Bulldogs amassed a gaudy record in the West Coast Conference, with their only loss of the season coming in the team's regular season finale against BYU. Behind dominant play from freshman center Zach Collins -- who put up 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks off the bench -- Gonzaga was able to stave off a second-half comeback from a red-hot South Carolina team in a 77-73 victory.

For the small school based out of Spokane, Washington, an appearance in the final is a monumental achievement. This was the first Final Four appearance in the school's history, just 22 years after they made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1995.

By the looks of things, the winning mentality of Kobe Bryant might have rubbed off on Gonzaga:

Mamba Mentality 🐍 pic.twitter.com/IEip5B4PQX

— Przemek Karnowski (@PKarnowski) March 30, 2017

UNC beat Oregon 77-76.

CAROLINA WINS IT ON THE GLASS! #FinalFour #GoHeels pic.twitter.com/qbXsFlWQrM

— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) April 2, 2017

Left standing between Gonzaga and another title is one of college basketball's blue-blood programs. North Carolina lost last year's National Championship on a buzzer-beater from Villanova's Kris Jenkins, and they return to the big stage with most of last year's runner-up squad intact. It's a program that expects to be playing for titles; this is UNC's 20th appearance in the Final Four, and a championship would be the third for head coach Roy Williams since he took over the program in 2004-05.

Michael Jordan's infamous "Ceiling is the roof" speech earlier this season ended up being prophetic. The Tarheels will hope to earn their sixth national championship all-time, which would pull them out of a historical tie with Indiana University and their archrival, Duke.

The two teams don't have much time to catch their breath before Monday's championship game, which tips off at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. If their play in the tournament so far is any indication, this year's title game should go down as a classic.    

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