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DEVELOPING: This time, there was no last-second heartbreak for North Carolina.

Justin Jackson’s three-point play with 1:40 to play sparked an 8-0 run to close the game as North Carolina outlasted Gonzaga 71-65 in Monday night’s NCAA men’s basketball championship game.

In a game marred by an ugly, foul-filled second half. Nigel Williams-Goss had given Gonzaga a 65-63 lead by nailing a short jumper with 1:55 to play, but the Bulldogs came up empty on their final four possessions after Jackson’s heroics. 

North Carolina’s Joel Berry II was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player after he led all scorers with 22 points and chipped in six assists. Jackson managed to score 16 points despite going 0-for-9 from three-point range. 

With the victory, North Carolina won the sixth national title in its basketball program’s illustrious history and head coach Roy Williams won his third championship with the Tar Heels, surpassing his mentor Dean Smith.

“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. “I’ve got three because of these guys right here. 

Gonzaga finishes their season with a record of 37-2. Eighteen years after they caught the basketball world’s collective eye with a Cinderella run to the Elite Eight, the Bulldogs’ dream season came up one game short. 

 



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