Williams and the Tar Heels didn't go when they won in 2005 because members of the team were already in National Basketball Association training camps, but they did go in 2009.
Across the street, the line was out the door with people also trying to get copies of the Daily Tar Heel - with the banner headline "Redemption". "The ups and downs that we had, it's all worth it".
The story starts with the downs. I know how you feel.
What ensued was a year of working harder, doing more, making sure That didn't happen again.
And, somehow, they got just that, beating Gonzaga, 71-65, in Monday night's national championship game here at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Moreover, a held-ball situation with 45 seconds left that went to North Carolina came after Meeks apparently touched the ball with his other hand out of bounds. The Tar Heels had three offensive boards in the first 16 minutes; they had five in the final four and took the lead back within the first 30 seconds of the second half. He drove to his right, cupped it his right hand and stretched his arm toward the basket. I'm no pro when it comes to basketball, but there were a lot of fouls called. "That's tough to hear". It was not a reviewable play. Hicks and fellow big man Kennedy Meeks played a good portion of the second half with three fouls, but Hicks didn't see the need for anything to change after picking up that third infraction.
Meeks was a big part of UNC's 8-0 run to end the game, coming up with a huge block and then a steal in the game's last 20 seconds to wreck two straight Gonzaga possessions. With less than 2 minutes left, they had the lead in the national title game. They brought steady cascades of boos from the crowd of 76,168, as fans from each side took turns protesting the whistles.
Blown call on a scramble in last night's title game aside, Few and Gonzaga are headed to elite status.
Berry, hobbled by two bad ankles, played well enough in the championship game Monday night after a clunker in the semifinals to be named the outstanding player of the Final Four. Pinson went 2 for 9.
Gonzaga takes it back at 60-59.
With under a minute remaining and North Carolina clinging to a 66-65 lead, Gonzaga's Silas Melson and North Carolina's Kennedy Meeks both hit the floor going for a loose ball. Typically a 15-point scorer and 40-percent 3-point shooter, he was a combined 2-of-13 from deep against Kentucky and national semifinal opponent OR and scored a total of 22 points in those two games.
"No, there wasn't [any talk of reviewing the play]", Few said after the game. It may be a little early for long-term perspective, though; the next day is for thinking about how agonizingly close they came. And for the record, MTSU hasn't lost to an SEC team in the past two seasons. "I don't think either team played well offensively".
North Carolina's shooting was actually better than Gonzaga's. What will be remembered, is that the North Carolina Tar Heels - just a year removed from one of the greatest heartbreaks in the history of college sports - rallied from a first-half deficit to defeat the Gonzaga Bulldogs 71-65 to claim the sixth title in school history.style="text-align: center;"