Few on late missed call: 'Just the way it goes'
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 06, 2017,
Apr 06, 2017, 11:17
After both teams won nail-biters in their semifinal match-ups, the University of North Carolina will face Gonzaga University in the championship game of the NCAA Basketball Tournament on April. 3.
UNC won its sixth national title Monday night in what was a pretty sloppy game all around - particularly for the officials, who were, well, not great.
After North Carolina's victory against Kentucky in the Elite Eight, hundreds of Wildcat fanatics took to Facebook to trash one of the referees, John Higgins. "It's two teams that desperately wanted to be crowned national champion".
Despite a debilitating loss to North Carolina in the NCAA championship game, many fans were already looking ahead to next season. Point spread taken Sunday from the consensus odds at VegasInsider.com.
I stayed up late to watch the North Carolina-Gonzaga NCAA Men's Championship game Monday night.
North Carolina forward Theo Pinson has been the source of comedic relief for the Tar Heels throughout this remarkable NCAA title run.
Since both teams were No. 1 seeds in their brackets (only eighth time in history), I was primed to forfeit sleep to see what I thought would be a classic championship game. Coach Mark Few's squad also ranked No. 1 in Pomeroy's defensive efficiency metric, allowing 86.6 points per 100 possessions.
While the performance was far from their best, the Tar Heels simply did enough to erase some demons they carried with them over the past 365 days. And with the possession arrow going North Carolina's way, the Tar Heels received the ball and an extra chance to add to their lead. After an offensive rebound by Kennedy Meeks (10 rebounds), Isaiah Hicks hit a short jumper to push the lead to 68-65 with 26 seconds left.
Berry finished just 7 for 19 from the field, 4 for 13 from 3-point range and 4 of 8 from the line.
Then, when a call actually should have been made they swallowed their whistles.
The second half featured two teams teetering back and forth as if on a seesaw, a tight, nerve-wracking game befitting the grandest of the sport's stages.
The clip below was the last time that North Carolina had the lead, for the entire first half of the March Madness Championship. "Again, I don't know that we're going to get invited".
Gonzaga sophomore guard Josh Perkins, whose season high was 18 points, led the Bulldogs with 13 points before halftime. But video of the scramble showed Meeks with his right hand out of bounds as he tried to snatch the ball from Melson.
In addition, Gonzaga was said to have reported UW assistant coach Cameron Dollar to the NCAA in the early 2000s for an alleged recruiting violation, which unofficially led to a long suspension of the annual regular season game the two schools played. Meeks, the senior forward from Charlotte who won a national title in his last collegiate game just like he dreamed of, explained it to me later after all the confetti had fallen. While there were a few questionable calls, especially on his fourth foul in which there was minimal contact, Collins and his teammates didn't point the finger at the officials.
North Carolina's Joel Berry II missed a jumper with about 55 seconds to play and the Tar Heels were up by a point.