Because of the odd ending between North Carolina and Oregon in Saturday's NCAA men's basketball semifinal, there was plenty of talk about fundamentals deep into the night and again Sunday.

BOX OUT! Oregon did not, and as result North Carolina grabbed two offensive rebounds in the closing seconds to save a one-point victory despite its own nearly fatal fundamental flaw of missing four consecutive free throws.

The strangeness of that game left little time to talk about Gonzaga and its end-of-game strategy against South Carolina: With a three-point lead in the closing seconds, foul before your opponent has a chance to try a game-tying shot.

This should be a strategy as fundamental as practicing free throws and boxing out. Let's hope Gonzaga's predictable success in doing it leads others to gravitate toward the same.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. mrand@startribune.com