Redemption: Tar Heels take NCAA title, 71-65, over Gonzaga

Redemption: Tar Heels take NCAA title, 71-65, over Gonzaga

But that bucket and his determination to overcome his struggles provided enough redemption to last a lifetime. "They won this game with their defense, quite frankly". To five more committed to reaching a stage they had never known. "It's the last game of the season".

The Tar Heels regrouped, refocused and outplayed Gonzaga over the final 20 minutes to prevent any deja vu. "That was the last couple of craziest seconds of my life because I had flash backs to past year", UNC Student Anna Morrison said.

It wasn't without strife.

North Carolina would go on to win 71-65, earning a national title nearly a year to the day after they had their hearts broken by Kris Jenkins' buzzer-beating, title-winning three.

At Gonzaga - a program on fantastic footing thanks to two decades' worth of building led by Few - they'll regroup and reload and try to finish the deal next year.

Williams said he wasn't even sure that his team would be invited.

Let's get right to the stats, folks. We can't get a delay and say, 'We're not ready.' You've got to play. But he made just 1 of 8 from the field against North Carolina. But Gonzaga answered with an 8-0 burst of its own before UNC responded.

It was a bad one at that: Both teams shot a combined 61.5 percent from the so-called "charity stripe".

Berry recovered from ankle injuries to lead the Tar Heels on Monday, but he needed 19 shots for his 22 points.

The confetti was three minutes away. They got it, and so did CBS. "And he's sitting there like this, his hands in his ears, saying: 'Why did I follow Roy Williams in this plane?' But we got through it OK and the whole bit". And we don't want that again.

Late in the game, with Gonzaga trailing by a point and 49 seconds on the clock, the refs missed a clear out of bounds call which would've given the ball to the Bulldogs.

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Suzann Pettersen (70) fell just short of the play-off and tied for third at 13 under along with Park Inbee and Minjee Lee. Also to the fans out there, words can't describe what you being there for me, meant to me. "I didn't realize I did that".

The two remaining #1 seeds put on quite a show, with the competition fierce right up until the last minute. They called all manner of touch fouls and off-the-ball fouls and generally killed any attempt by either side to go on a run. "I think this group was tough enough tonight".

Finally, the feeling was tangible.

There were 12 seconds left.

The break seemed to settle Gonzaga's players, as they scored the next eight points to take a 43-40 lead.

I know. I know.

The buzzer sounded, sans any daggers from UNC's opponent. The players hacked one another and uglied up the game, intensity and style conspiring for an eruption of fouls.

This, at last, was their shining moment.

"That means a lot to me", he said.

This entire season is a testament to the Tar Heels' resilience.

The Tar Heels hit the hardwood in stellar Jordan Brand styles executed in North Carolina's signature blue and white colors - with the exception of freshman forward Tony Bradley's pink and white Air Jordan XXXI. But the last three or four years have been very hard. Tough neighborhood? Former N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried wasn't kidding when he often described living with the Tar Heels and Blue Devils as such. This is vengeance, vindication and validation. The Tar Heels' season-long quest for redemption was complete, and as a senior, so too was Meeks' college career.

"I think of Coach Smith, there's no question", Williams said.