The national championship game is set. At 8:21 on Monday night, top ranked Illinois and second ranked North Carolina will square off at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis to decide who the best team in basketball is for the 2004-2005 season. Illinois head coach Bruce Weber and North Carolina head coach Roy Williams are vying for their first national title. This marks IU’s first ever trip to the championship and with a win, they will not only be champs, but they’ll set the NCAA record for most wins in a season with 38. Carolina has won it all three previous times (1957, ’82 and ’93)
This marks the first time since 1975 that the number one and number two teams in the AP Top 25 have met in the championship. That year UCLA topped Kentucky 92-85 in John Wooden’s final game as head coach for the Bruins.
The Illini enter Monday’s game with a record of 37-1 and the Tar Heels are 32-4.
The follwing are excerpts from Sunday’s press conference: