North Carolina Beats Gonzaga to Win the NCAA Championship

A national champion has been crowned.

Here are your 2017 national champions, the North Carolina Tar Heels!  

North Carolina survived a game against Gonzaga that was neck-and-neck the entire way through to triumph, 71-65. 

 The refs' propensity to call late-in-the-game fouls, including a controversial flagrant one on Gonzaga's Przemysław Marcin "Przemek" Karnowski, got a lot of viewers—including some very prominent ones—riled up.

Let these kids play. Put the whistles away.

— DWade (@DwyaneWade) April 4, 2017

Man I can't watch this anymore man! I would like to see the kids decide who wins the game! I mean Bruh!! Smh

— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 4, 2017

Gonzaga entered the West region of the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed after finishing the season with a 32-1 record. Aside from edging out West Virginia, 61-58, the Bulldogs' balanced offensive attack was able to breeze their way to the Final Four where they faced a feisty South Carolina team that toppled the likes of Duke and Oregon in the East region. The 'Zags were able to stave off the Gamecocks' second half run to make their first title game appearance in school history.  

Much like Gonzaga, the Tar Heels coasted through the South region until they faced the Kentucky Wildcats in the Elite Eight. After Kentucky's frenetic late second half run was all for naught once Luke Maye propelled himself into UNC lore with one clutch shot. 

North Carolina is living proof that sometimes it's better to lucky than good. After barely edging out Kentucky, the Tar Heels inability to finish off the Oregon Ducks didn't come back to haunt them. With UNC clinging to a 77-76 lead with just five seconds remaining, the Heels' Kennedy Meeks missed back-to-back free throws, but teammate Theo Pinson came up with a pivotal rebound to maintain possession. After Joel Berry II failed to knock down another two attempts from the charity stripe, Meeks grabbed another huge board to put the game on ice. 

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