Tar Heels win national title, 3rd for Roy Williams as UNC’s head coach

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By EDDIE PELLS
AP National Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Justin Jackson delivered the go-ahead three-point play and North Carolina scored the last eight points for a 71-65 win over Gonzaga and a title that heartbreakingly eluded the Tar Heels last year.

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It was an ugly affair, filled with 44 fouls and 52 free throws but, ultimately, the contest with the result the Tar Heels (33-7) simply had to have.

This was their redemption season, and they closed the deal a year after losing on a 3-pointer at the buzzer to Villanova.

Carolina was down 2 with 1:40 left when Jackson took a pass under the bucket from Theo Pinson, made a layup and got fouled.



The free throw made it 66-65, and after a Gonzaga miss on the other end, Isaiah Hicks made a shot to help North Carolina start pulling away to the school’s sixth title.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


By JIM O’CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – The sounds of the NCAA Championship game were whistles and moans.

It just never seemed there was a flow to the game that North Carolina won 71-65 for its sixth national title.

Each team had 22 fouls but it was the big men who took the brunt of it.

Both teams like to get the ball inside but when it did go in there was usually a whistle. Kennedy Meeks, the man in the middle for North Carolina, finished with 7 points, four fouls and a huge blocked shot.

Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowski never got in the flow of the game and finished with 9 points and four fouls. His backup, Zach Collins, played just 14 minutes and fouled out with 5:03 to play.

Since the inside didn’t provide answers to a takeover run, both teams were forced to go outside and the Tar Heels were amazingly able to win shooting 4 for 27 (14.8 percent) from 3-point range.

Gonzaga was 8 for 19 (42.1 percent) but none of the big men were able to break double figures.

The title game that has always been called the ugliest was Connecticut’s 53-41 win over Butler in 2011. Six years later North Carolina gives a challenge to that title but it doesn’t matter because both teams are called national champions.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – North Carolina’s Joel Berry II, hobbled by two bad ankles, played a strong championship game after a clunker in the semifinals and was named the outstanding player of the Final Four.

The junior guard and floor leader scored 22 points and handed out six assists in the Tar Heels’ 71-65 victory over Gonzaga on Monday night.

Berry bounced back from a 2-for-14 shooting performance against Oregon on Saturday to make 7 of 19 shots against the Zags in an ugly foul-filled game.

During the postgame celebration, he acknowledged he wasn’t 100 percent but said he gave it his all. Berry said, “It came down to the last seconds but we’re champions now.”

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)