North Carolina beats Gonzaga for NCAA collegiate crown

Redemption Tar Heels take NCAA title 71-65 over Gonzaga

Redemption Tar Heels take NCAA title 71-65 over Gonzaga

The University of North Carolina Tar Heels, who fell agonizingly sort of the goal past year, beat the Gonzaga Bulldogs 71-65 on Monday, April 3 (Tuesday in Manila) to claim the coveted United States collegiate basketball crown.

For North Carolina, it was a title to make up for a near-miss against Villanova in 2016, in which the Wildcats answered a last-second prayer with one of their own to win. But as Meeks beamed and clutched his teammates, previous year was finally forgotten. Instead, Gonzaga will have a season to wonder what might have been, just as North Carolina did after losing last season's championship game. Williams passed mentor Dean Smith by earning his third national championship and becomes one of six coaches to have won three titles joining John Wooden (10), Mike Kryzzewski (5), Adolf Rupp (4), Bobby Knight (3) and Jim Calhoun (3).

There were 27 fouls called in the second half, and it contributed to keeping Meeks, Gonzaga's 7-footers Przemek Karnowski and Zach Collins and others on the bench in foul trouble.

"I know that we did nothing wrong. I think this group was tough enough".

Because of the protracted NCAA investigation, and legal stalling by North Carolina, into the school's academic scandal - which involved more than 3,000 students, including basketball and football players, taking phony classes between 2007-11 - the Tar Heels have been eligible to participate in the past two NCAA Tournaments. The freshman blocked three shots and got seven rebounds in the game, but also turned the ball over four times and fouled out with more than five minutes left to play. "We came out here and we competed".

With 15:53 remaining in the game, the Gonzaga big man was looking for the ball and made what seemed to be a normal move in the post.

This year's championship showcase featured a welter of fouls and missed shots by both teams.

It was the player with two bum ankles who helped carry the Tar Heels.

Joel Berry II recovered from ankle injuries to lead the Tar Heels with 22 points on 7-for-19 shooting.

"So nobody made me aware of it or I certainly would have within the last minute there or 2 minutes", he said.

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"It's just an unbelievable feeling", Berry said. I couldn't do it without them.

It wasn't a game of beauty.

They're saying the Tar Heels were destined to win, or they should be.

North Carolina dedicated the past year to redeeming itself for 4.7 agonizing seconds.

"I thought for sure something insane was going to happen and we were going to miss it by a little bit", she said.

Monday night, he played just 14 minutes due to foul trouble. They whistled 27 fouls in the second half alone.

Jackson was 0-for-9 from beyond the arc but finished with 16 points, while Isaiah Hicks added 13. He had three huge buckets midway through the half, a stretch where North Carolina's offense went ice cold, and scored the bucket to put the Tar Heels up three with 25 seconds left.

The pesky Tar Heels kept it close, going into the break trailing 35-32.

Chapel Hill officials said Sunday two people were injured after about 12,000 people rushed Franklin Street following UNC-Chapel Hill's victory late Saturday in the men's basketball NCAA semifinal game.

It was, in North Carolina's words, a redemption tour - filled with extra time on the practice court and the weight room, all fueled by a devastating loss in last year's title game on Kris Jenkins' 3-point dagger at the buzzer for Villanova. Not only was this where the bar was set for this season - anything less than this would have been perceived, internally and externally, as failure, whether that's fair or not - but the Tar Heels were thinking about this the entire time.