UNC's campus celebration after the national title results in 7 injuries

Rosalie Stanley
April 16, 2017

North Carolina's Kennedy Meeks places his right hand outside of the line as Meeks and Gonzaga's Silas Melson (0) battle for a loose ball during the second half in the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. "I mean, I don't think either team played exceptionally well offensively", North Carolina coach Roy Williams said.

After a sporting year that began with Kris Jenkins' buzzer shot to carry Villanova past North Carolina in the 2016 NCAA Championship, followed by an National Basketball Association title won with Kyrie Irving's heroic 3-pointer, then a World Series that required extra innings and produced an historic Chicago Cubs victory, a College Football Playoff decided in the final minute and a Super Bowl that needed overtime, we probably were due for a clunker.

Point guard Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga's leader, felt it after the Zags' 71-65 loss to North Carolina. "So it's a great feeling", Maye said.

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.

The leading scorers of the first half were Josh Perkins from Gonzaga, who had 13 points and Joel Berry II, with the Tar Heels, who had 9 points.

"Coach Smith, I don't think I should be mentioned in the same sentence as him", Williams told CBS' Jim Nantz during the trophy presentation. We realize that many "ABC" (Anybody But Carolina") fans take about as much joy in the Monday victory as many Carolina fans took in Duke's championship win two years ago: "not much. That is up 30% compared to previous year Villanova-North Carolina title game, which was on TBS for the first time.

Williams-Goss led the Bulldogs with 15 points, but twisted his ankle on the ensuing trip and could not elevate for a jumper that would have given the Bulldogs the lead.

A flurry of whistles and missed shots left them one step short. "The kid is a flat out victor".

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Monday night NC State's neighbor, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earned its sixth men's basketball national title, the third under head coach Roy Williams. Meanwhile, freshman backup Zach Collins was in foul trouble all night, eventually fouling out with a little over five minutes remaining, leaving the Zags to rely on outside shooters. However, Kennedy Meeks 7 points, ten rebounds, and those two well-timed defensive plays certainly propelled the Heels to the title.

Berry made one free throw with seven seconds left to finish with a game-high 22 points.

In the second half, North Carolina set the tone from the very start.

"People asked me the last day and a half if he was going to come".

Before the NCAA tournament began, he declined to fill out a bracket the way his predecessor Barack Obama did.

Gonzaga is in stronger shape for next season, but its future is also in doubt until we find out who is declaring for the draft.

The ability of Hicks and Joel Berry to bounce back from bad shooting performances on Saturday against OR truly enabled North Carolina to win this hard-nosed defensive game.

"The ball didn't go in for me the other night, and tonight I just tried to use my legs and be confident in my shot", Berry said after the game.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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