Redemption is Sweet for UNC

Redemption is Sweet for UNC

With 1:40 left in the final, Justin Jackson took a laser of a pass from Theo Pinson and laid it in while being fouled.

Nigel Williams-Goss led the Bulldogs with 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

"I don't think either team played really well", Williams said. "But we got three because I've got these guys with me and that's all I care about right now - my guys". He was still named Most Outstanding Player for the NCAA Tournament, getting the first steal of the game that led to the first points and then hitting a free throw to put away the Tar Heels' first title in eight years.

Thank goodness for free throws.

In total, there were 44 foul calls, 22 on both teams, with 27 of those fouls coming in the second half.

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Coastal Alabama Community College also said it would be closed and the University of Mobile said it would not open until 6 p.m. The two lost contact, and Ruth said a swift-water recovery team later found Williams' body in the creek outside the auto .

The game "featured" 52 free throws.

Both teams like to get the ball inside but when it did go in there was usually a whistle. Somehow, Collins was the only player to foul out. It was near midnight there when the Tar Heels began celebrating here. It set up the Hicks layup to put Carolina ahead by three. Replays and pictures, retweeted and reposted thousands of times on social media, showed Meeks' right hand touching out of bounds.

"Everybody still had faith in me", Hicks said. If the NCAA did a last two-minute report of this game like their National Basketball Association counterparts did, it would take much longer than two minutes to read it. Thats tough to hear.”. Twenty years ago, this looked virtually impossible.

And UNC did it again here against Gonzaga, the upstart mid-major major that was attempting to break through with its first national championship. "We broke that glass ceiling everybody said we couldn't get past". North Carolina had won three of the previous seven such meetings, beating Georgetown in 1982, MI in 1993 and IL in 2005.

"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. "One of the things we had to be was tough enough, and I think we were tough enough tonight".

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North Carolina's two victories in the Final Four came by a combined seven points, the smallest margin for a championship team since MI in 1989.

But the real redemption isn't so much from winning the game but from a rotten first half that saw UNC shoot poorly from everywhere yet only trail Gonzaga by three at intermission.

And Isaiah Hicks, who struggled to find an offensive rhythm in previous tournament games, came up with a huge bucket with 22 second remaining. But as Few said in regard to the missed call, "that's just the way it goes".

North Carolina shot 34 percent from the field in the foul-riddled championship game, Gonzaga 36 percent.

Collins fouled out with 5:03 left and Karnowski was mostly ineffective, even before picking up his fourth foul.

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Referee Mike Eades called a held ball and North Carolina retained possession, and then used that possession to score the biggest basket of the game. Gonzaga's 7-foot-1 center, Przemek Karnowski, was scoreless at halftime, missing all four of his first-half shots while turning the ball over three times and fouling twice.

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