GLENDALE, ARIZ. (AP) - This time, the North Carolina got it right.
The Tar Heels have erased the memory of last year's buzzer-beating loss to Villanova in the NCAA title game by topping Gonzaga, 71-65 to win this year's national championship. It's the sixth NCAA crown for North Carolina, which closed on an 9-0 run after Nigel Williams-Goss hit a jumper to put the Bulldogs ahead 65-63 with under two minutes remaining.
Justin Jackson converted a three-point play with 1:40 remaining to put the Tar Heels ahead to stay. He added a game-clinching slam with 12 seconds left to give North Carolina a five-point cushion.
Joel Berry II had a team-high 22 points for the Tar Heels, who won despite shooting under 36 percent from the field and going 4-for-27 from 3-point range. Berry was named the outstanding player of the Final Four, playing on two bad ankles and bouncing back from a 2-for-14 shooting effort against Oregon on Saturday.
Jackson was 0-for-9 from beyond the arc but finished with 16 points, while Isaiah Hicks added 13.
North Carolina's shooting was actually better than Gonzaga's. Williams-Goss paced the Bulldogs with 15 points despite missing 12 of his 17 attempts. Josh Perkins contributed 13 points, but Przemek (pur-SHEH'-mehk) shot 1-for-8 in scoring nine. The Bulldogs shot 33 percent in losing their first title-game appearance.
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