Cut the Net

University of North Carolina wins sixth basketball national title

Dexter Swims, Staff Reporter

Imagine working hard for nine long months and coming up just short of your goal. This was the feeling of the North Carolina Tar Heels as they fell to the Villanova Wildcats in the 2016 NCAA National championship game. Kris Jenkins of the Wildcats knocked down a three-point jump shot at the buzzer to defeat the Tar Heels 77-74.

“It’s hard, because at some point tonight, I have to take this jersey off,” said senior guard Marcus Paige.

From that day forward, the Tar Heels were on a mission. To start off the 2016-2017 season, they went on a 7-game winning streak, including a big win over #16 ranked Wisconsin.

“When they beat Wisconsin, I knew that they were going to be the team to watch out for later on in the season,” senior Nick Humphrey said.

The Tar Heels continued to dominate their schedule and finished the regular season with a 26-6 record.

Going into the conference tournament, the Heels had to face the Duke Blue Devils in the ACC championship game. The Blue Devils team featured former Chaminade basketball star, Jayson Tatum.

“I honestly thought that North Carolina was going to win,” said senior Keion McGwire, “They had a lot of experience from last year.”

Despite losing 93-83 in the conference championship, the Heels’ record was good enough to earn a spot in the March Madness national tournament. They won four games in a row, including an elite 8 victory over the top ranked Kentucky Wildcats and were on their way to the final four.

Senior Kyle O’Brien said, “No one expected them to beat Kentucky. After that, they had my pick to win the national championship.”

The Heels defeated Oregon in the semi-final and were on their way to the national championship against top-ranked Gonzaga. North Carolina was too much for Gonzaga as they pulled off a 71-65 victory to secure the national title.

“If you would’ve told me that we would be in this position at the first practice I would’ve definitely taken it,” said UNC Coach Roy Williams, “They fought hard to the bitter end.”

The Heels earned their sixth national title in school history.