GLENDALE, Ariz. — North Carolina missed the shots. No surprise there.

Kennedy Meeks saved the game. No surprise there, either.

Meeks, the only Tar Heel who could shoot straight Saturday night, muscled away the game-saving offensive rebound in a 77-76 victory over Oregon after ice-cold Carolina missed its fourth straight free throw down the stretch.

It was all part of a career night for the North Carolina senior, who was on the bench in last year’s championship game when Villanova devastatingly ended the Tar Heels’ chance at a title with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

In this one, Meeks was front and center. He finished 11 for 13 to match his career high with 25 points. And he had 14 rebounds, eight of which came on the offensive glass and none of which was more important than the last. It secured a Monday-night date with Gonzaga in the title game, where the Tar Heels (32-7) will go for the program’s sixth title.

“If it wasn’t for Kennedy Meeks, we wouldn’t have been in the basketball game,” Carolina Coach Roy Williams said.

The rest of his team shot a brick-a-minute 14 for 55 from the floor (25 percent). Justin Jackson was one of the few to break through. He had 22 points on 6-for-13 shooting, including a five-minute stretch with three 3-pointers and two free throws that helped the Heels to a double-digit lead and put them on the verge of a runaway midway through the second half.

Given the lead and Oregon’s own awful shooting (37 percent), losing this one might have felt every bit as bad as the Villanova loss last year. This is, after all, a team on a mission with only one acceptable destination.

“I just didn’t want to lose another game off a winning shot,” said Joel Berry II, who missed the free throw that Meeks tore away from Jordan Bell to ice the game. “I wish we would have closed it out.”

After Keith Smith’s layup pulled Oregon within 77-76 with 7 seconds left, it looked like it would come down to free throws.

It did, and it wasn’t pretty.

First, Meeks got fouled, stepped to the line and rimmed out two. But Theo Pinson got inside and batted the ball back out to Berry, who then got fouled with 4 seconds left and took his turn at the line.

Berry missed both, too. But Meeks got inside of Bell for that final rebound and threw it outside to Pinson, who dribbled out the clock to end this ugly affair.

“My main focus was, if Joel missed the second free throw, to hit the offensive glass hard,” Meeks said.

Bell finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds, but needed No. 17 to give the Ducks a last shot.

“Jordan felt terrible,” Oregon Coach Dana Altman said. “But I told him, ‘Buddy, you got 16 rebounds, we wouldn’t have been in this position if it hadn’t been for you.'”

That it came down to Carolina winning on the boards was no big surprise. This was the best rebounding team in the country this season, grabbing an average of 13 more boards than their opponents.

Against the Ducks, the rebounding battle was even (43 each), though North Carolina got five more on the offensive glass, which resulted in 19 second-chance points, 10 more shots and, eventually, the win.

“I think coach, definitely, when we’re gone, he’s going to tell that story,” said Pinson, who finished with eight points and eight boards. “That just shows how big offensive rebounding is. Boxing out at the end of the game. I’m sure (Bell) wished he’d boxed out right there.”