North Carolina Basketball returns to the final four in dramatic fashion
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 08, 2017,
Apr 08, 2017, 13:19
These teams played on December 17, with Kentucky winning 103-100 as Monk knocked down the game-winning shot. "He knocked down big shots for us and, I mean, this is probably his biggest game of the season". "I didn't care what he was talking about".
Justin Jackson tallied 19 points for the Tar Heels, who meet OR on Saturday night in the national semifinals.
As is his custom, North Carolina coach Roy Williams did not call timeout, preferring instead to let his team attack a defense that wasn't set. I mean, you think of the plays they made, down five, to get back. "I needed to stop that right there".
No Tar Heel has more than 3 points, but Luke Maye and Theo Pinson each have three. This morning, we got a ideal reminder of that courtesy of the hero of North Carolina fans everywhere, sophomore Luke Maye.
"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. 'It was a great feeling'.
Not the North Carolina hero who would score a career-high 17 points in Sunday's 75-73 Elite Eight win over Kentucky at FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee, 48 hours after establishing his previous career-high of 16 points against Butler in the Sweet 16. Justin Jackson led UNC with 19 points, although it was Maye's career-high 17 points that will be remembered in the South Region's Elite Eight classic. UNC point guard Joel Berry was unable to control a poor pass, and Wildcats forward Derek Willis reached to the floor attempting to grab the ball.
Youth and talent had taken second-seeded Kentucky (32-6) to this point.
Isaac Humphries and De'Aaron Fox were named to the All-South-Region Team.
The Wildcats had hoped their talented freshmen would carry them. Kentucky freshman Malik Monk played the basketball role of Sean Woods, who hit a go-ahead shot with 2.1 seconds left against Duke.
The game seesawed back and forth in the final minutes. "And you've got to beat who's out there".
The last few minutes of the game defined why the NCAA Men's Tournament has taken on the moniker, March Madness.
This will be the fourth time these teams have met in the tournament, all regional finals. Williams improved to 9-4 in regional finals overall and 5-3 at North Carolina.
Kentucky led briefly twice in the game, but North Carolina would quickly retake the lead. He rolled his ankle again and had to leave the first half.
SC added a missing piece to its rich basketball history. Like the Gamecocks, the Bulldogs have never played in a Final Four before.
Sindarius Thornwell scored 26 points and hit the go-ahead free throws that put No. 4 SC ahead to stay in a 77-70 triumph over the fourth-seeded Florida Gators. It was serious enough to send the the junior to into the locker room.
That year they went on and won the national championship, which they haven't done since. "You dream it every single day".