Men's Basketball: North Carolina beats Gonzaga for sixth national title
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 11:14
Isaiah Hicks made a basket to push the lead to 3, then Kennedy Meeks, in foul trouble all night, 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 (33-7).
Williams pointed out that North Carolina was not invited to the White House after the Tar Heels won the national title in 2005 and he couldn't round up enough players from the 2009 team to accept an invitation to visit the White House.
Gonzaga players sit in the locker room after the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against North Carolina, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz.
North Carolina Coach Roy Williams, who took a shot at President Trump for compulsive tweeting, on Monday said he doesn't know if he'd take his NCAA basketball championship team to the White House.
North Carolina has three reserves averaging at least 5.0 points per game in the tournament.
Gonzaga (37-2) missed nine consecutive shots in the second half and went 8:27 without a basket, but North Carolina (33-7) didn't have the offense to deliver a decisive run as it remained a one-possession game for nearly all of the second half.
"We broke the glass ceiling everyone said we couldn't break", junior forward Johnathan Williams said. He had a shot he might have hit if his ankle wasn't hurting him with:17 left. His feet had swelled up on the plane ride to Phoenix, and he wasn't moving all that great in Saturday's semifinals against Oregon.
The Zags still found a way to take a 65-63 lead with 1:53 left, but didn't score again as the Tar Heels scored the final eight points.
Gonzaga was pretty solid in the first half but the lights started to go out for the Zags in the first 2:00 of the second half.
"That I missed a lot of layups", he said.
On the previous two possessions, Williams-Goss had scored. His rejection of a shot by a driving Nigel Williams-Goss led to a decisive fastbreak dunk by Justin Jackson with 12 seconds left. "I wish. and that's probably on me". They also lost one of its major weapons when Collins fouled out with five minutes left in the game.
But Williams-Goss almost carried Gonzaga home by himself. In the way: the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, now six times a champion. Both teams were in the bonus.
It was a fitting way for the Tar Heels, who successfully completed their redemption tour in a 71-65 nail-biter over Gonzaga, to claim their sixth national championship.
The Tar Heels regrouped, refocused and outplayed Gonzaga over the final 20 minutes to prevent any deja vu. Collins finished with seven points and nine rebounds while being limited to 14 minutes. "I feel like the way we ended it past year, we just worked so hard and we got this second chance and took advantage if it".