Redemption: Late run lifts North Carolina to NCAA title

Redemption Tar Heels take NCAA title 71-65 over Gonzaga

After the possession arrow favored North Carolina on a tie-up, Isaiah Hicks made a basket to push the lead to 68-65 with 27 seconds left.

Zach Collins, a 7-foot freshman, backs up Karnowski and he had 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks against SC in the national semifinal.

A year after losing on the first buzzer-beating three in NCAA men's basketball championship history, the Tar Heels are back on top, defeating Gonzaga 71-65 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, in front of a crowd of 76,168.

"At the end, when you're watching your kids jump around, and the excitement and thrill they have, there's no better feeling in the world as a coach", Williams said.

"I kind of hid behind the defense, you could say", Meeks said. It's all about the next thing.

'I don't know that we're going to get invited.

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The story of the game ended up being the referees. The game will most likely be best remembered for the overzealous officiating that led to a combined 44 fouls being called on the two teams.

The quiet game by Gonzaga's big men allowed North Carolina to have a 40-18 advantage in the paint. Silas Melson is the first backcourt reserve and he had six points, four rebounds and three assists against the Gamecocks. In addition, 44 combined fouls were called in the game. "Getting back, and they're so fast and so good at it". And his toughness, I think, everybody on our club picked up on that.

"I don't think Roy Williams should ever be put in the same sentence with Dean Smith, I really don't", Williams said on Monday night.

That was a bad no-call though and it really hurt Gonzaga.

But even he couldn't hold it together during Justin Jackson's game-sealing dunk against Gonzaga. "I thought we navigated our way to tie it in the final minute".

But Hicks finally found the rhythm down the stretch.

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Nigel William-Goss scored eight straight points for Gonzaga, helping them take a two-point lead with only 1:50 left in the game. I swear to goodness, that's not what I'm thinking.

"Last year when we made our run, I was watching the Snapchats and the Instagram posts", senior point guard Nate Britt said.

Josh Perkins was averaging 5.2 points and shooting 34.8 percent from the floor in the first five games of the NCAA tournament, but his play buoyed Gonzaga in the first half, scoring 13 points - more than he's scored in any game since February 23rd, a total he eclipsed just twice since Christmas - and helping Gonzaga jump out to an early nine-point lead, but the Zags, overall, did not play all that well in the first 20 minutes. North Carolina forward Kennedy Meeks suffered the same fate with 9:42 remaining. The lead changed hands seven more times, but the excitement was blunted by the game's 44 fouls and 52 free throws.

It also noted "NCAA March Madness Live generated an all-time best 4.4 million live video streams for last night's championship game, an increase of 29 percent over previous year".

"Based on what we went through a year ago and through this year, it's unbelievable", Jackson said.

"I told my team with three minutes left: 'If you had told me on the first day of practice that we would be in this position I would have taken it.' What we had to do was play the last three minutes".

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