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Battle of bigs headlines NCAA national championship game

One of Gonzaga’s built-in advantages most of the season will be challenged by North Carolina in the championship game.

The Zags operate inside out with a versatile collection of bigs in Przemek Karnowski, Johnathan Williams, Zach Collins and Killian Tillie. The Tar Heels are a mirror image with 6-foot-10 Kennedy Meeks, 6-9 Isaiah Hicks, 6-8 Justin Jackson and sizable options off the bench.

Jackson, the ACC player of the year, has upped his regular-season average of 18.3 points to 20.2 in the tournament. He’s made an average of five 3-pointers per game. Williams will probably open against Jackson, but the Zags figure to rotate defenders. GU’s zone defense has yielded good results in the NCAA Tournament, too.

Meanwhile, the Tar Heels have bulk inside with the 260-pound Meeks and the 242-pound Hicks but they’re still giving away 40-plus pounds to Karnowski and they’re at least two inches shorter than Collins.

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