Ratings boost: NCAA title game viewership up 30 per cent

Apr 10, 2017, 00:27
Ratings boost: NCAA title game viewership up 30 per cent

But none of that mattered to North Carolina when the confetti rained down upon its sixth national championship after a 71-65 victory over Gonzaga Monday night. But not close enough. Still, he logged 72 of a possible 80 minutes, defended effectively and choreographed the offense as the Tar Heels eased the sting of last season's title-game loss to Villanova.

Williams hinted Monday that that his team would pass on a meet and greet with Donald Trump if they were asked to come to Washington at all.

Tall as trees, the Tar Heels and the "Zags" gave the country a fitting, back-and-forth struggle with plenty of excitement along the way, and it proved a nice story within a story. The Bulldogs' Zach Collins - the hero of a Final Four win over SC - fouled out with 5:03 to go after playing only 14 minutes.

Well, this year, it wasn't a worry.

North Carolina's big men came up in the clutch.

And one more, just to be on the safe side since, you know, the national championship and all.

Gonzaga claimed a 35-32 halftime advantage but North Carolina started the second stanza with an 8-0 run as the teams traded the lead all the way until the Tar Heels pulled away at the death. This latest championship team was filled with juniors and seniors, giving them distinct advantages over the phenomenal freshmen in college basketball. "We've had good team, we've had really good teams, now we've got the best". North Carolina redeemed themselves this year, becoming the fourth team in NCAA history to win the national title the season after finishing as the runner-up. Somehow, Collins was the only player to foul out. The looks from the athletic label that North Carolina wore to top the Nike-sponsored Gonzaga Bulldogs include the Air Jordan XXXI, the Air Jordan XXXI Low, the Ultra Fly 2, the CP3.X, the Air Jordan 11 and the Super.Fly 5. His rejection of a shot by a driving Nigel Williams-Goss led to a decisive fastbreak dunk by Justin Jackson with 12 seconds left.

Zach Collins, a 7-foot freshman, backs up Karnowski and he had 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks against SC in the national semifinal.

Berry led all scorers with 22 points and added three rebounds, and six assists, finishing the night 7-of-19 from the field, including 4-of-13 from three-point range. But a year later, the team got the redemption it sought. If the kiddies watched the second half, they might drop playing basketball and stick with soccer. 27 fouls were called in the second half, resulting in an overwhelming 52 free throws.

"Coach Smith, I don't think I should be mentioned in the same sentence as him", Williams told CBS' Jim Nantz during the trophy presentation.

We said before the game that the worst thing for the Zags would be to get Zach Collins and Przemek Karnowski in foul trouble.

"I think the difference with me is that I have heart and I have will to do whatever it takes to be able to get out there and compete with my guys", Berry said.