Saturday, 18 November, 2017

NCAA Championship: Michael Jordan missed UNC's win because he's 'superstitious'

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and players celebrate after the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Gonzaga Monday David J. Phillip Associated Press North Carolina coach Roy Williams and his players celebrated after defeating Gonzaga for the NCAA title
Craig Ferguson | 09 April, 2017, 03:00

Williams got his third national championship. But not close enough. He seemingly hung in mid-air for a couple seconds, then pushed the ball off the backboard and in with 21.9 seconds left. 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.

They deserved it. Gonzaga's big men hadn't faced a team like Carolina, whose bigs are long and strong and affected the Zags.

A former Douglas County Sentinel Player of the Year, Robinson played in 37 of the Tar Heels' 40 games but didn't see much action during the NCAA Tournament.

There is no highlight video for the Tar Heels' undefeated 1957 title team, which defeated Wilt Chamberlain and Kansas in the championship game. "I'm thinking our offense stinks", he said. So just what did that text say? I just, from my angle, it didn't look like it was a situation where there was an out-of-bounds situation, or else I would have called for a review.

North Carolina was playing in its second consecutive title game, and its 20th Final Four appearance in school history. I don't know which country. "I'm sitting over there, I'm not thinking the officials are doing a awful job", North Carolina coach Roy Williams said.

"When Kennedy blocked that shot and I grabbed the ball and threw it to Justin, I immediately nearly started crying", Berry said.

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UNC accepted an invitation from Barack Obama four years later to come to the White House in 2009 after Williams' second championship title. There were 27 fouls called in the second half, compared to 17 in the first. Nonetheless, Carolina prevailed with outstanding defense in the closing seconds as senior forward Kennedy Meeks stuffed redshirt junior Nigel Williams-Goss which allowed junior Justin Jackson a wide open dunk with 11.4 seconds left, icing the game for the Tar Heels.

Meeks had 25 points and 14 rebounds in the semifinal win but seven points and 10 boards against the Zags.

North Carolina's Joel Berry II (2) shoots a free throw during the second half in the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against North Carolina, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz.

Jackson was 0-for-9 from beyond the arc but finished with 16 points, while Isaiah Hicks added 13.

It was a redemption story for Tar Heels' fans, since their team lost to Villanova in last year's final, and who can blame them for wanting to roll around in the celebratory confetti?

The Bulldogs were ahead because they took smarter shots and made more of them than the Tar Heels, who tried the long-distance route to success and made only two of 13 three-pointers in the first half. I said 'he hasn't called but guys, knowing him, he'll say that he went previous year and we lost.' So that's what I was thinking. Karnowski went 0-for-4 in the half, turning the ball over three times, while Collins lasted all of eight minutes before getting into foul trouble.

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