by Sharon Thorsland
How awesome was that?
North Carolina pulled it off - they made it back to the national championship game and won!
A year after having their hearts broken on a buzzer beater by Villanova, the Tar Heels gutted out an ugly performance against Gonzaga to win it 71-65, bringing home their 6th NCAA title.
How much did they want this one? The Heels went 4 of 27 from 3, 15 of 26 from the foul line and got out-rebounded by 3. And they still won. On a night when JustinJackson couldn't get his offense going, it was Joel Berry who turned things up a notch, gimpy ankles and all.
Berry carried the Tar Heels with 22 points and 6 assists and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.
Gonzaga certainly played a great game but in the end their big guys got in foul trouble and their outstanding point guard Nigel Williams-Goss couldn't get it done by himself.
And in the final minutes of the game, the Tar Heels clamped down on defense, and Isaiah Hicks hit the biggest shot of his career, nailing a layup and drawing a foul with 21 seconds to play.
That was all the Heels needed, although Jackson added a dunk off a turnover to finish the game.
It certainly didn't have the thrilling finish of last year's title game, but for Tar Heel fans, it was a thing of beauty.