The Big Game

Jarvis Martin and Keyon Mobley

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On April 3, 2017 North Carolina VS Gonzaga played in the championship game in Glendale, Arizona. The  match-up was very high because both of these teams were number 1 seeds and that has only happen once in NCAAM basketball tournament. With Gonzaga having 2 big men and a monster point guard this season, the bulldogs had a 65% to win it all. The odds were against North Carolina because last year in the championship game North Carolina lost on a buzzer beater on Kris Jenkins’ shot. So the tar heels were looking for revenge with 2 big men who can rebound and, therefore, lead its conference in rebounding the bulldogs which will have a lot to handle in the paint.

An unwatchable game turned into a beautiful night for the Tar Heels, who turned a free-throw contest into a championship they’ve been waiting an entire year to celebrate. It was, in North Carolina’s words, a redemption tour — filled with extra time on the practice court and the weight room, all fueled by a devastating loss in last year’s title game on Khris Jenkins’ 3-point dagger at the buzzer for Villanova. “Just unreal that we get a second chance at this,” junior Theo Pinson said, recounting a pre-game conversation with teammate Joel Berry . “Not a lot of people can say they can do that. I told him, `We’re about to take this thing. I’m about to give everything I got.’ I knew he would, too. We just didn’t want to come up short again.”

Gonzaga, helped by 8 straight points from Nigel Williams Goss, took a 2-point lead with 1:52 left, but the next possession was the game-changer. Jackson took a zinger of a pass under the basket from Pinson and converted the shot, then the ensuing free throw to take the lead for good. Moments later, Williams-Goss twisted an ankle and could not elevate for a jumper that would’ve given the Bulldogs the lead. Isaiah Hicks made a basket to push the lead to 3. Then, Kennedy Meeks, in foul trouble all night, blocked Williams-Goss’ shot, and Jackson got a slam on the other end to put some icing on title No. 6 for the Tar Heels.

 

 

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