Gonzaga's Williams declares for draft, won't hire agent

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Gonzaga junior Johnathan Williams has declared for the NBA draft but will not sign with an agent, leaving open the possibility he will return for his senior season. By not signing with an agent, Williams has until May 24 to decide whether to remain in the draft or withdraw and return to Gonzaga. Williams averaged 10.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in his first season with Gonzaga after transferring from Missouri.

Guard Bryan Alberts to transfer from Gonzaga

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Little-used guard Bryan Alberts is leaving Gonzaga in search of more playing time. The 6-foot-5 sophomore said Thursday he is not sure where he will land but he is expected to seek a Division I program. Alberts played in 24 games last season, averaging 5.9 minutes and 1.8 points. Alberts is expected to graduate with a degree in economics this summer, which would make him immediately eligible next season.

Zach Collins of Gonzaga announces for NBA draft

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Gonzaga freshman center Zach Collins on Tuesday declared for the NBA draft, becoming the first one-and-done player in program history. The 7-0 center said he was exploring his options without hiring an agent at this time, but intends to hire an agent at a later date. The first McDonald's All-American recruited by Gonzaga, Collins averaged 10 points and 5.

Much of Gonzaga's title game team coming back next season

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- The greatest season so far in Gonzaga basketball history ended with the Bulldogs falling short of their goal but many of those players who slugged it out with North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament title game will be back for another try next season.

UNC's title defense, Zags' follow-up top 2017-18 story lines

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The 2016-17 season is over, with North Carolina holding off Gonzaga to win the national championship for the program's sixth NCAA title. The win for the Tar Heels wrapped up the season's biggest story line: How North Carolina would bounce back from a buzzer-beating loss in last year's finale. Let's take an early look at some of the threads to watch leading into next season.

Missed call helps UNC in final minute of NCAA title game

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The official was right there standing over the play. North Carolina's Kennedy Meeks and Gonzaga's Silas Melson were on the floor trying to corral a rebound with 53 seconds left in the NCAA championship game with the Tar Heels up by one Monday night. Referee Mike Eades called a held ball and North Carolina retained possession, and then used that possession to score the biggest basket of the game.

Redemption: Tar Heels take title over Gonzaga in ugly game

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- It's OK, Carolina, you can open your eyes. An unwatchable game turned into a beautiful night for the Tar Heels, who turned a free-throw contest into a championship they've been waiting an entire year to celebrate. Justin Jackson delivered the go-ahead 3-point play with 1:40 left Monday and North Carolina pulled away for a 71-65 win over Gonzaga that washed away a year's worth of heartache.

The Latest: North Carolina 'tough enough' to outlast Zags

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Latest on the championship game of the NCAA Tournament between North Carolina and Gonzaga (all times local): 8:55 p.m. North Carolina coach Roy Williams says his team finally got the redemption it needed after a heartbreaking buzzer-beater in last season's title game. The Tar Heels scored the final eight points of an ugly, foul-filled second half to beat Gonzaga 71-65.

North Carolina, Gonzaga set to settle NCAA title game

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Two of the top teams coming into March Madness are set to settle the title in the 67th game of the NCAA Tournament. North Carolina and Gonzaga play Monday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals. Tipoff is set for about 6:20 p.m. local time, 9:20 p.m. EDT.

Gonzaga's brand of winning leads university's broader growth

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- In the summer of 1998, Gonzaga University was a small private college in Eastern Washington that barely made a blip on the public consciousness, even within its own region. To shake things up, administrators decided to change the school's visual identity. The school colors went from light blue and white to a deep navy.

Poker buddies and road trippers, Few, Williams meet in final

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Mark Few lifted the transition game he used for years at Gonzaga from Roy Williams' playbook. When Few first started going on those Nike-sponsored vacations that coaches take during the offseason, it was the North Carolina coach and his wife who made the Fews feel welcome.

Some things to watch in the NCAA championship game

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Some things to watch for in Monday night's NCAA championship game: IN THE MIDDLE Both teams have size in the middle and quality depth at the position. Gonzaga's 7-foot-1, 300-pound Przemek Karnowski will go at North Carolina's 6-10, 260-pound Kennedy Meeks.

Gonzaga rides swarming defense into NCAA championship game

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Gonzaga swingman Johnathan Williams bumped and bruised Sindarius Thornwell throughout the Final Four, shadowing his every step, preventing the South Carolina star from getting the ball, much less a good shot. The same scenario played out a week earlier in the Sweet 16, only it was Nigel Williams-Goss hounding Jevon Carter, preventing West Virginia's best player from getting a good look with the game on the line.

Gonzaga-North Carolina: Matchups that could make difference

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- North Carolina and Gonzaga are separated by 2,567 miles and five NCAA men's basketball national titles. The distance between the two campuses is the farthest for NCAA Tournament finalists since 1971, when UCLA faced Villanova, located in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The last time a school with as many as five NCAA championships faced a team looking for its first in the final was 2006, when Florida broke through against UCLA.

The Latest: Williams reiterates program did nothing wrong

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Latest on the NCAA championship game (all times local): 3:13 p.m. North Carolina coach Roy Williams again says his program in particular did nothing wrong in the school's multi-year academic scandal that has led to charges from the NCAA. "Were there some mistakes made? You're darned right there were. Were there some things I wish hadn't happened? You're darned right. But there were no allegations against men's basketball," Williams said.

Gonzaga, North Carolina preparing for national title game

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Gonzaga and North Carolina have turned their attention toward Monday's national championship game. The teams are holding news conferences and a closed practice at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday afternoon after both earned tough wins in the national semifinals the night before. The Zags beat South Carolina 77-73 in the first game. Then the Tar Heels beat Oregon 77-76 in the nightcap.

Gonzaga, N Carolina feature beastly bigs in NCAA title game

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Their pedigrees are different, but both teams are loaded with veterans. Both have some heft in the middle. When Gonzaga meets North Carolina for the NCAA national championship on Monday night, it could be quite a brawl. "They're big just like us and they match up with us pretty well," North Carolina's Theo Pinson said. "Their guards are really good. We just got to play the game and execute.

Collins stars for Gonzaga in what could be only NCAA run

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Zach Collins scores, rebounds, blocks shots and makes predictions. He's pretty good at all of those things. The freshman 7-footer from Gonzaga had quite a night in the Bulldogs' 77-73 victory over South Carolina on Saturday in the Final Four. He had 14 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high six blocks. The prediction? He made that to his roommate, Nigel Williams-Goss.