North Carolina fights off Gonzaga for 71-65 win and national championship

North Carolina fights off Gonzaga for 71-65 win and national championship

The performance of the officials Monday night fell decisively into the former category.

Berry's the reason everyone knew about UNC's redemption tour. Moments later, Williams-Goss twisted an ankle and could not elevate for a jumper that would've given the Bulldogs the lead.

Williams-Goss is a junior and will have to decide if he wants to return to the Zags or leave early for the National Basketball Association. On the previous two possessions, Williams-Goss had scored.

This time, there was no last-second heartbreak for North Carolina. "Big [Sean] May told me to leave my legacy tonight".

"Everybody still had faith in me", Hicks said.

The Apopka, Fla. native had told reporters after Saturday's Final Four win over OR that he was about 75 percent and sore after battling his pair of ankle sprains. It's all about the next thing. He drilled the game-winning shot at the end to shock Kentucky.

The three officials called a total of 44 fouls during the game and the second half didn't have any flow as the whistles were blowing every other trip down the court. As the season progressed they won most of their games by double digits, often without trailing, and raised prospects of going through the season undefeated.

The junior guard and floor leader handed out six assists in addition to his 22 points.

Resetting team fouls isn't going to stop bad calls from happening. "I'm thinking our offense stinks", he said. "That's all I was doing".

"The feeling of inadequacy in the locker room past year is the worst feeling I've ever had", Williams said.

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The Tar Heels were plagued by poor shooting throughout much of the first half, shooting just 30.6% from the field and a putrid 15.4% from beyond the arc.

The second half saw UNC get off to a fast start. "Everybody was saying how the Zags couldn't get to the Final Four". Karnowski has been a leader for the Bulldogs all season long but was ice cold in the first half with Meeks in his face.

But Hicks finally found the rhythm down the stretch.

"Isaiah made, I think, I don't have the stat - I have a stat sheet but I don't have play-by-play".

Williams said it was "very difficult" game to call. There's so many great guys up there.

"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". Josh Perkins contributed 13 points, but Przemek (pur-SHEH'-mehk) shot 1-for-8 in scoring nine.

While he finished 0-for-9 from three-point range and took more than a few ill-advised shots, he came up clutch in the game's final two minutes with a strong finish for an and-one opportunity that he converted to give his team the lead for good. "I think we adjusted too late to how the game was being officiated".

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North Carolina did, however, win the battle of the big men in the first half, as both Karnowski and Collins picked up two fouls in the first 20 minutes.