North Carolina Holds Off Gonzaga For National Title

GLENDALE, ARIZ. (KFSM) – After falling at the buzzer in the 2016 national championship game, North Carolina had been eyeing a chance for redemption.

Monday night the Tar Heels got just that.

Despite shooting just 35 percent in the game, North Carolina was able to close the game on a 9-2 run and hold off Gonzaga for a 71-65 win and claimed the school’s sixth national championship.

Joel Berry was named the tournament’s most outstanding player as he finished the title game with 22 points despite shooting just 7-of-19 from the field, including 4-of-13 from 3-point range.

UNC shot just 35 percent from the field as a team, including 4-of-27 from long ranger, and even struggled at the foul line (15-of-26) but was plus-10 in the turnover margin and pulled down 15 offensive rebounds. Gonzaga shot just 33.9 percent and had 14 turnovers. Nigel Williams-Goss led the Bulldogs with 15 points but shot just 5-of-17 from the field.

North Carolina reached the title game despite having three games that came down to the final minute. The Tar Heels avoided Arkansas’ upset bid thanks to a 12-0 run that ended the game in the second round then North Carolina got a buzzer beater to take down Kentucky in the elite eight. Oregon had two chances for a possession while trailing in the final seconds but a pair of offensive rebounds pushed the Tar Heels into the championship game.