The Tar Heels will play Midwest champ Oregon on Saturday

Even with those hurdles, North Carolina needed a jumper from Luke Maye with 0.3 seconds left to end the Wildcats' season, eliminating Kentucky 75-73 in the South Region final of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

The veteran Tar Heels - who have three starters back from last year's NCAA Tournament championship game, where they lost to Villanova on a buzzer-beating three-pointer 77-74 - never panicked.

Had North Carolina's Luke Maye not hit that winning jumper with.3 seconds remaining, we would all be discussing how Calipari brilliantly turned a play that has haunted him for years into a ticket to the Final Four.

Mar 26, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; The North Carolina Tar Heels bench reacts in the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats during the finals of the South Regional of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at FedExForum.

Monk and Fox almost staged a remarkable comeback, combining to hit three 3-pointers in the final 53.5 seconds, erasing a seven-point deficit, only to lose on Maye's jumper after Monk had pulled the Wildcats even with 7.2 seconds left. But Maye, with his foot on the 3-point line, answered right back and the Tar Heels were able to run out the clock.

Rudolph's father, Brett, and Maye's father, Mark, were college roommates at UNC where they played football.

"We practice that way every day", a soaked Williams said. Fox played only 8 minutes of the first half after picking up his second foul with 12:23 left.

"It was two great games and we tip our cap to North Carolina".

North Carolina and Gonzaga came into the tournament seeded first in their Regions.

OREGON: The Ducks may not have had the opportunity to reach the Final Four had Tyler Dorsey not come up with key buckets down the stretch of a 75-72 win over Rhode Island in the second round. "It's not something that you start dreaming it the year you win 25 games".

A former walk-on, nothing has come easy for Maye in his time in Chapel Hill.

"But in my off night when I'm in the gym or something I might do that two or three times the whole time I'm in there, and it normally doesn't go in", Chiozza said. Or maybe, as one Twitter commenter suggested, everyone just wants to know what the heck a Tar Heel is. "But it could've been done, they made big shots". "For him to step up in that moment, I'm proud of him, I knew that he had it in him".

'I just kind of stepped back, and he gave me the ball and I just shot it, and luckily it went in, ' Maye said of his game-winner.

What's unusual about the post if that the Duke alum is praising a player on North Carolina, the bitter rival of the Blue Devils. It shows that all of us care and we wanted to win. The Tar Heels finished this game with a 16-9 run. The Tar Heels led 38-33 at halftime.

Game 2: (3) OR vs. (1) North Carolina, 5:49 p.m.

Bad news for North Carolina: Joel Berry II has another ankle injury. Unfortunately, there was too much time left for North Carolina, and Maye found himself left wide open in the wild scramble to try to get a last-second shot.

Monk was voted the SEC's top player and newcomer of the year by The Associated Press in a season he averaged 19.8 points per game.

  • Julie Sanders