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Gonzaga-North Carolina: 3 keys to the Tar Heels’ 71-65 win

UPDATED: Mon., April 3, 2017, 10:52 p.m.

The North Carolina Tar Heels defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs 71-65 on Monday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, in the NCAA national championship game. Here are the three keys to the Heels’ win:

Key Moment

North Carolina’s Justin Jackson had a three-point play in the final two minutes of the game after he went up for a layup and drew a foul from Nigel Williams-Goss. Isaiah Hicks hit a layup a minute later that extended North Carolina’s lead to 68-65. On GU’s next possession, Williams-Goss drove inside the key but his shot was blocked by Kennedy Meeks. North Carolina’s Joel Berry II grabbed the ball and flung it to Jackson, who ran alone down the court and dunked it.

Offensive player of the game

North Carolina guard Joel Berry hits a shot voer Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins, Mon., April 3, 2017, in the NCAA national championship game, in Glendale, Ariz. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
North Carolina guard Joel Berry hits a shot voer Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins, Mon., April 3, 2017, in the NCAA national championship game, in Glendale, Ariz. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Berry scored a game-high 22 points for North Carolina on 7-of-19 shooting, including four 3s. Three of Berry’s 3-point shots put North Carolina in the lead. Berry hit one 3 halfway through the second half that put the Tar Heels up 47-45. His last 3 came eight minutes later and it gave North Carolina back the lead again, 62-60.

Defensive player of the game

Gonzaga forward Zach Collins meets North Carolina forward Kennedy Meeks, Mon., April 3, 2017, in the NCAA national championship game, in Glendale, Ariz. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward Zach Collins meets North Carolina forward Kennedy Meeks, Mon., April 3, 2017, in the NCAA national championship game, in Glendale, Ariz. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Meeks was the main force on Gonzaga big man Przemek Karnowski. He held the GU senior center to only one basket out of eight attempts from the field. Meeks also had two blocks against Gonzaga and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds – six defensive.

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