This was a redemption game for North Carolina after the loss in the championship game last year against Villanova. Gonzaga’s loss today is only the second this season.
The contest was close throughout featuring 10 ties and 12 lead changes for the most competitive game of the Final Four weekend.
The shooting was poor for both teams throughout. North Carolina only shot 35.6 percent and Gonzaga was even worse shooting 33.9 percent. This battle was marked by many missed shots and some ugly play between the teams.
The North Carolina Tar Heels held a slim lead of three points 35-32 at the end of the first half. The second half was back and forth between the two until the Tar Heels went on a 9-2 run in the final two minutes of the game.
Foul trouble plagued both teams, especially in the second half. The stars for both teams were in foul trouble early in the half. Most of the second half was a free-throw shooting contest until North Carolina went on its final run to secure the victory.
The big men inside for both teams were disappointing. The Bulldog’s center, Karnowski, finished with just 9 points, and Meeks, forward for the Tar Heels garnered only 7 points.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs were led by, guard, Nigel Williams-Goss with 15 points. North Carolina’s Joel Berry II led the Tar Heels with 22 points.
Tar Heels guard Joel Berry II was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2017 Tournament. He had been playing despite nagging injuries throughout the tournament but came up big when it mattered most to lead North Carolina to the title.
Written By Daniel Osborn
Edited by Cathy Milne
SBNATION: Joel Berry II named Most Outstanding Player in 2017 NCAA Tournament
Featured and Top Images Courtesy of Daniel Osborn