UNC wins championship
(Reuters) GLENDALE, Ariz. – The redemption tour is complete.
North Carolina talked about redemption all season, spurred by the painful memory of losing last year’s national title game on Villanova’s last-second 3-pointer.
The Tar Heels found themselves back in a similar situation Monday night.
This time, they made sure a potential heartbreaker did not even get to the rim.
The Tar Heels won their sixth national title, beating Gonzaga 71-65 in the NCAA Tournament final at University of Phoenix Stadium, with the key play being a late-game block by center Kennedy Meeks. His rejection of a shot by a driving Nigel Williams-Goss led to a decisive fastbreak dunk by Justin Jackson with 12 seconds left.
“This is what we worked for,” said North Carolina point guard Joel Berry II, selected the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. “The ups and downs that we had, it’s all worth it. I can’t even describe my feeling right now, but I’m just glad I was able to do something with this team just because of our personality and what we went through.
“I think we just deserved it.”
Coach Roy Williams earned his third national title at North Carolina, the school’s first since 2009.
This year’s title game was a cold-shooting, foul-filled affair, but what the game lacked in aesthetics, it made up for in drama, with the game on the line in the final minute. Forward Isaiah Hicks made a hanging jumper in the lane with 26 seconds left for a 68-65 North Carolina lead before Williams-Goss, who had scored eight consecutive points, was blocked.