Despite 2 bad ankles, Berry named outstanding player

With the college basketball season now behind us, here are five things that were made evident over the season's final 40 minutes.

The sounds of the NCAA Championship game were whistles and moans.

With four minutes left in the half, Gonzaga had outrebounded the Tar Heels 22-16. It was a combination of two foul-happy teams, but mostly, it was a refereeing crew that was calling everything way too tightly, as seen here. This was, by that metric, the Heels' second-worst shooting game of the year.

Longtime Tar Heels fans will realize that this team mimicked what North Carolina did in 1981 and 1982 - losing in the national final the first year, then winning it the very next time around when a freshman named Jordan hit the game-winning jumper.

It certainly wasn't pretty, but the history books won't pay that much mind. After Williams-Goss had struggled with his legs a minute earlier and seemingly recovered, he went venturing into the lane, as he had so often and so confidently through the Zags' almost spotless season. "That's the bottom line", Williams said Saturday night after the Tar Heels beat OR 77-76.

Przemek Karnowski spent nearly the entire game missing bunnies. Their effective field goal percentage, a measurement of shooting that gives threes 50 percent more value than twos, was 38.4. The Bulldogs could have had much more luck if their big center had been able to knock down any of those baskets in a game they lost by just six. On the previous two possessions, Williams-Goss had scored. Goss-Williams had 15 points but needed 17 shots. Somehow, the ref missed this rather easy out-of-bounds call in the final minute of the game. North Carolina forward Kennedy Meeks suffered the same fate with 9:42 remaining.

But Perkins came up with 13 first-half points, nine on three-pointers, and that allowed the Zags to withstand some early rough shooting from Karnowski, who missed all four attempts before halftime. "My teammates said just keep on pushing".

The coldest man in college basketball was the hero on Monday night.

The Tar Heels were 26-of-73 (35.6 percent) from the floor. The only time he was able to get anything going against North Carolina was when Williams made a decision to play his two 6-foot point guards, Berry and Nate Britt, together in the first half, and neither had the length to keep Williams-Goss out of the paint and bother his shot.

Berry was 2-for-14 shooting in North Carolina's 77-76 semifinal win over OR but was somewhat better in the title contest, going 7 for 19 from the field but 4 for 13 from 3-point range. "I mean, serious. I told them don't worry about what the referee is doing, he missed a call, but, my God, we missed four free throws in a row, missed layups".

North Carolina and Gonzaga play Monday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals. Gonzaga shot 33.9% from the field and turned it over 14 times.

Perkins made up for earlier struggles in the tournament with an impressive first half, scoring 13 of his team's first 28 points, after averaging just 5.0 ppg during the season, and going scoreless in the Bulldogs' national semifinal victory over SC. "The fouls were part of it". The Tar Heels only had four turnovers while forcing 14 and were the more disciplined team when it mattered most. They've won five NCAA titles and were in the championship game past year, losing at the buzzer to Villanova.

  • Leroy Wright