Redemption! The North Carolina Tar Heels and Gonzaga Bulldogs left it all on the court when these two teams battled for the 2017 NCAA Basketball championship on April 3. UNC came away with a 71-65 victory that was especially sweet after losing a heartbreaker in the 2016 finals.
Incredible! After a tournament that was a roller coaster of emotion, college basketball fans expected nothing less than a historic showdown between the Gonzaga Bulldogs and North Carolina Tar Heels in the final of the 2017 March Madness tournament. After a super close game that came down to the wire, it was UNC who came out on top. It was sweet revenge after losing in the 2016 NCAA finals thanks to a last minute buzzer shot by Villanova.
The roof nearly came off of the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona before the game even started! Once the action kicked off, fans watched as the teams went practically point for point throughout the game, with neither squad ever taking a commanding lead. The teams traded back and forth leads that went down right down to the end. With 23 seconds left, UNC took a 68-65 lead that would prove crucial in the final stretch, as Kennedy Meeks blocked a Gonzaga shot to throw it down court for a Justin Jackson score to make it a 71-65 game with seven seconds on the clock to seal the deal!
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— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 4, 2017
Depending who you asked, Gonzaga were either underdogs or the favorites going into this match. The Bulldogs were considered the best defensive team in the nation, according to USA Today. It’s clear to see why some are backing the Bulldogs, especially since Gonzaga practically cruised their way into the Finals. With the power Kennedy Meeks, who scored 25 points in the Final Four game against Oregon. In the entire tournament, the Bulldogs have always won by 3 or more.
On the other side, UNC found themselves on the verge of elimination a couple times. The multi-NCAA tournament champions barely got by Kentucky and Oregon. While UNC had of Zach Collins, Prezemek Karnowksi and Johnathan Williams (each 7-foot tall), they fell flat on their faces against the Ducks, failing to score on four free throws in the closing moments of the Final Four game. This Championship game was the Tar Heels’ chance to prove that the deserved this spot in the finals.
The real winner of this game – and this whole tournament – has been the fans. With Duke getting upset by South Carolina in the second round and Villanova falling to Wisconsin, the tournament was thrill ride. While many fans’ brackets were shattered by the upsets, including Michigan downing Louisville, the tournament was one of the most exciting ones in recent history. This finale definitely proves it.
Are you glad that the Tar Heels won the 2017 March Madness tournament, HollywoodLifers? Who did you pick to win?