UNC squeezes out of ugly National Championship game against Gonzaga

North Carolina won 71-65. The Bulldogs, who are playing in their 19th consecutive NCAA tournament, had never reached the Final Four before this year.

The official had the best view in the house but apparently made the wrong call on one of the most crucial plays of the NCAA men's basketball championship game Monday night.

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip).

The Tar Heels won their sixth national title, beating Gonzaga 71-65 in the NCAA Tournament finals at University of Phoenix Stadium on Monday night, with the key play being a late-game block by center Kennedy Meeks. Gonzaga went from shooting 40 percent in the first half to going over eight minutes without a field goal and putting up an 8-of-29 in the second half.

But most of the team that finished 37-2 is expected to return and is nearly certain to have enough talent to earn a 20th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. We've compiled all four - plus a montage from the 1982 tournament, which was before "One Shining Moment" became the tourney's ultimate closer. "I'm glad I did because now we're national champions".

The Alamodome will be the host for next season's men's basketball Final Four.

The officials ruined the final game of the college basketball season. This was the Bulldogs' first Final Four appearance.

1993: Forward George Lynch got top billing, though MI star Chris Webber earned significant time even before his costly timeout in the title game.

Instead, North Carolina got the ball (remember, due to the jump-ball call and the possession arrow being in their favor) up a point with 49 seconds to play.

"The biggest challenge is their transition defense", Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "I just, from my angle it didn't look like it was a situation where there was an out-of-bounds situation or I else I would have called for a review".

It marked the biggest shot of the senior's career. "Just the things I've been going through the last couple of weeks: not being 100 percent, not shooting the ball like I wanted to, struggling from the 3-point line, struggling from the free-throw line, which is a shock to myself". North Carolina had lost all three games in which they were out-rebounded this season.

But that is not really the true measure of Karnowski's impact on the program.

Complicating it for the Zags, Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga's 7-foot-1, 300-pound wall of a center, also had to dance around foul trouble most of the second half. "So it's a great feeling", Maye said.

According to ESPN's Stats & Information, Berry scored or assisted on 48 percent of his team's points on Monday.

"We're in the building", Pinson said.

A big question is whether Collins will return for his sophomore year.

Now here's one more shot of Meeks. He had nine points and seven rebounds but fouled out with 5:03 to play.

Isaiah Hicks made a basket to push the lead to 3, then Kennedy Meeks, in foul trouble all night (who wasn't?), blocked Williams-Goss' shot and Jackson got a slam on the other end to put some icing on title No. 6 for the Tar Heels. The least the refs could do is make an effort to keep a bad and forgettable game from being a memorably disgusting one.

The season began with an easy win over Utah Valley on November 11 and the Zags rolled to victories in their first 29 games.

This time, it didn't go in.

"I mean, how many teams would take 37-2, league champs, national runner-up?"

  • Julie Sanders