The North Carolina Tar Heels defeated the Oregon Ducks by a score of 77-76 in a thrilling final four match up on Saturday night. As a result the Tar Heels are headed to the National championship for the second straight year.
Although it was a close game throughout, it appeared as if North Carolina had firm control of the game late in the second half with a 66- 56 lead. Oregon didn’t stop fighting and fought their way back into the game. The Ducks concluded the game on a 20 to 11 run as North Carolina struggled late in the second half. In the final moments UNC’s Kennedy Meeks had a chance to put his team up by three points with a pair of free-throws. Oregon was given a golden opportunity as Meeks would go on to miss both free-throws. To the dismay of Oregon fans the rebound was recovered by UNC. After another pair of missed free-throws form UNC the Ducks once again failed to recover the rebound as UNC dribbled the clock out to clinch the victory.
Sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey led Oregon in scoring with a team high 21 points as Junior Jordan Bell grabbed a team high 16 rebounds. North Carolina had stand out performances from forwards Justin Jackson and Kennedy Meeks as they poured in 22 and 25 points respectively.
The ending of this game was a nightmare for Ducks players and fans alike. It seemed as if UNC was gift wrapping the game for Oregon’s taking. But the Ducks lack of execution was their demise as they missed a perfect opportunity to advance to the National Championship game. This game will surely haunt the Ducks for a long time as they lost in heartbreaking fashion.
UNC on the other hand will celebrate their win and focus their attention on Gonzaga. The two teams will face-off in the championship game on Monday night. By all accounts, this will be a great matchup as the two one seeds fight for the crown.