dglobalnews.com North Carolina Claims Their Sixth National Title
Published: Sun, April 09, 2017
National | By Glenda Ortiz

North Carolina Claims Their Sixth National Title

North Carolina Claims Their Sixth National Title

It also marked his 100 NCAA tournament victory, an accomplishment a fellow Tar Heel congratulated him for.

Now, that one call wasn't what won North Carolina its latest championship.

When Monday night's slugfest with Gonzaga came to a merciful end, the Heels had all their answers: The national title was theirs, the nets were hanging around their necks, the redemption tour was a success.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few and several players reflect on the emotional national title game loss. I feel like, when you try, good thing is eventually going to happen.

In 2016 in Houston, UNC lost in a thriller, succumbing to Villanova on that last-second three-pointer by Kris Jenkins.

Past year the Tar Heels' title bid was sunk by a last-second shot by Villanova's Kris Jenkins in the title game. A foul-filled second half with numerous missed shots would result in their downfall. From there, as the teams continued to trade points, the officials couldn't stop blowing the whistle. "The problem was there was a foul on the play". That's a field goal shooting percentage of 36.

"Coach Smith, I don't think I should be mentioned in the same sentence as him", Williams told CBS' Jim Nantz during the trophy presentation. "But I know it's out there".

The final push came from UNC.

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The Tar Heels turned the extra possession into an inside hoop from Isaiah Hicks that made it 68-65 with 26 seconds left.

That spot, he insisted following the most recent championship in a 71-65 win over Gonzaga at University of Phoenix Stadium, is reserved for only one coach. With no timeouts, Gonzaga was finished.

"I do that all the time in practice where I hide I guess you could say", Meeks said about the steal. Hicks had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Williams-Goss led the Bulldogs with 15 points, but twisted his ankle on the ensuing trip and could not elevate for a jumper that would have given the Bulldogs the lead.

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.

Gonzaga, a Roman Catholic university in Spokane, Washington, emerged as a Cinderella team in 1999, reaching the Elite Eight before losing to eventual champion CT. Gonzaga always plays well in the tournament but has never won the championship.

This year's run by Gonzaga was no fluke, with its only other defeat coming February 25 to BYU. They didn't want to be back-to-back runner-ups, so they put all of their effort throughout the NCAA tournament.

At Gonzaga — a program on fantastic footing thanks to two decades' worth of building led by Few — they'll regroup and reload and try to finish the deal next year. Gonzaga senior guard Jordan Matthews said. With just under fifteen minutes left UNC went on a four-minute scoring drought that let the Bulldogs get back in the match.

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