Gonzaga hurt by foul trouble in 71-65 loss to North Carolina


Overall No. 1 seed Villanova, which was lucky to beat North Carolina for the championship previous year, was knocked out by No. 8 Wisconsin, which got knocked out by Florida.

"We threw the ball into the post and I didn't deliver", Karnowski said after the game. We can't get a delay and say, 'We're not ready.' You've got to play. It was a one-possession game for the next eight minutes, until an Isaiah Hicks floater beat the shot clock and secured a four-point cushion. Jackson finished with 16 points on 6-of-19 shooting from the field. But Gonzaga answered with an 8-0 burst of its own before UNC responded. We're talking about a guy who averaged 18.3 points per game here and shot 38 percent from behind the arc.

Moments later, Williams-Goss twisted his ankle and neither he nor anyone on his team would score again.

Lost in North Carolina's fairytale redemption tour is the story of Isaiah Hicks, the Tar Heel who with an extra fraction of a second and some longer fingernails could've blocked the most infamous shot in program history.

"He's been in the pool, hot tub, cold tub", said Williams, who passed his late mentor Dean Smith by winning a third NCAA championship.

Williams, 66, always seemed the flawless coach to replace Smith when Smith retired after the 1997 season.

"I think we just deserved it".

"I told my team with three minutes left: 'If you had told me on the first day of practice that we would be in this position I would have taken it.' What we had to do was play the last three minutes".

Williams-Goss forced it up the court, but Kennedy Meeks swallowed his shot and Gonzaga's chances with it. Berry, the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, kicked it to Jackson, the ACC Player of the Year, for one final two-handed flush. And they still won.

Or blame the missed layups and the missed free throws.

Berry was 2-for-14 shooting in North Carolina's 77-76 semifinal win over OR but was somewhat better in the title contest, going 7 for 19 from the field but 4 for 13 from 3-point range.

South Carolina women beat Stanford 62-53 in Final Four
Stanford's Tara VanDerveer coached South Carolina's Dawn Staley on a gold medal-winning Olympic team. "One more game left". Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was supporting his sister Anna, who is a freshman at Stanford in the first game.

That resulted in four straight free throws, a 52-all tie and booing from every corner of the massive Phoenix University Stadium.

A minute later, each team was in the bonus. Somehow, Collins was the only player to foul out. But instead, the official called for a jump ball.

"The fact that his jersey's going up next to mine, I couldn't be any happier to share it with someone else", Justin Jackson said. "It was just a physical game". "I felt like when I was out there, I was doing everything I can".

SC was the closest thing to a Cinderella, but lost to Gonzaga, which made a brilliant decision to foul with 3.5 seconds to play in Saturday's semifinal.

Not to dismiss any of the contributions from North Carolina's bench, but the Tar Heels' starting five put it all together when it mattered most. Jackson responded with a traditional 3-point play, and Hicks's heroics followed. The problem was that photos of the play show Meeks' hand on the end line while he had his other arm around the ball.

"First of all, I mean, those were three of the best officials in the entire country - NBA, college or anything", Few said. "But I'm hoping and knowing that perspective will come with time". "That's tough to hear".

The Bulldogs (37-2), the Cinderella-turned-Godzilla team from the small school in the West Coast Conference, tried to keep the big picture in mind.

SC student Davis Bryan starts to worry after Gonzaga takes an early lead in the Saturday's national semifinal game. "He came a year ago, and we lost". "So it was our job to come out more focused than Gonzaga".

"At the end, when you're watching your kids jump around, and the excitement and thrill they have, there's no better feeling in the world as a coach", Williams said.

I was in Provo when the Cougars rallied late to put some pressure on the Bulldogs and I went to talk to Gonzaga head coach Mark Few (who is shorter in person than you might realize).



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