But not close enough.
For a year now - nearly exactly to the day - all these North Carolina players wanted was a chance to redeem themselves, an opportunity to erase the heartbreak from last April's national championship game loss. Just six seconds into the second half, Isaiah Hicks stole the ball from Josh Perkins, which led to a Joel Berry layup. UNC-Chapel Hill is a perennial contender, and in the world of college basketball stays near the throne even if it doesn't always get to wear the crown.
Both teams have quality players coming off the bench and they are capable of being that championship game star. Meeks received some support on social media for the Most Outstanding Player award that ultimately went to Joel Berry.
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.
Well, this year, it wasn't a worry. "I don't think I should be mentioned in the same sentence with him".
That was a bad no-call though and it really hurt Gonzaga.
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1982: North Carolina's title is remembered for two reasons - a freshman named Mike Jordan made the game-winning shot and Smith won his elusive first title. "But I'm hoping and knowing that perspective will come with time". "They do a great job getting in the passing lanes". "And every time I took a jump shot I just tried to use my legs and some of them were short". It averaged 10.827 million viewers, up 16 percent from previous year, Nielsen said.
After Meeks was the first player with 25 points and 10 rebounds in a Final Four game since Greg Oden (2007) in UNC's matchup against Oregon, Meeks scored a subpar 10 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field, but pulled down 10 rebounds to set a new single-tournament record on the glass with 69 over the course of six games. Jackson had 16 points but went 0 for 9 from 3-point range. With two minutes left and the game tied, Jackson put together a big "and 1" play underneath before Gonzaga's Williams-Goss rolled his ankle. "So nobody made me aware of it or I certainly would have within the last minute there or two minutes".
"It was insane because I was thinking like would he (the ref) have called a foul on the dude trying to grab Joel, but he got it away quick enough".
"It started in '99 when they went to the Elite Eight and we just kept - the Zags keep breaking that ceiling". The Bulldogs committed a turnover on the ensuing possession, leading to Justin Jackson's dunk that iced the Tar Heels' 71-65 win that gave Williams his third national championship.
Josh Perkins was averaging 5.2 points and shooting 34.8 percent from the floor in the first five games of the NCAA tournament, but his play buoyed Gonzaga in the first half, scoring 13 points - more than he's scored in any game since February 23rd, a total he eclipsed just twice since Christmas - and helping Gonzaga jump out to an early nine-point lead, but the Zags, overall, did not play all that well in the first 20 minutes.