Published: Mon, April 03, 2017
Sports | By Angel Morales

Meeks shoots, and rebounds, and saves the day for Tar Heels

Meeks shoots, and rebounds, and saves the day for Tar Heels

North Carolina withstood a long stretch of poor shooting in the first half in which it trailed by as many as eight points and a second-half push by Tyler Dorsey and Dylan Ennis to beat OR, 77-76, in the second of two national semifinal games Saturday night.

Putting together one of the best games of his four-year North Carolina career, Saturday's Final Four victory over OR almost ended in heartbreak for senior Kennedy Meeks.

North Carolina's offense during the Final Four game took a long time to get going but finally picked things up, and the Tar Heels led OR, 39-36, at halftime in the nightcap of Saturday's Final Four semifinals. OK fine, there were still five seconds left on the clock with Kennedy Meeks at the free throw line.

North Carolina is one game away from its sixth college basketball national championship after surviving a late rally in the final seconds against Oregon.

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few directs his team during the first half in the semifinals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against South Carolina, Saturday, April 1, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. Making matters worse, after shooting well from the line all game, the Tar Heels went just 6-for-13 from the free-throw line after that point, although they were bailed out by their offensive rebounding, finishing with 17.

Williams-Goss missed a shot with 12.7 seconds left and SC rebounded and called a timeout trailing 75-72. Hitting only the first of his two free throws, the senior grabbed another offensive board and put the ball back in, taking a 66-56 lead. Meeks got the last one and threw the ball outside to allow the Tar Heels to eliminate the Ducks (33-6).

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Two No. 1 seeds, one in its first Final Four, the other a perennial contender, will meet for the NCAA national championship.

What a weird ending.

Meeks scored 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting for North Carolina, which lost in last year's championship game on Villanova's last-second shot.

"They saved the game", Berry said.

"The atmosphere is that we are not done yet", he said.

It's not often that you hear of North Carolina winning games with their defense and their work on the offensive glass, but that's what it was on Saturday.

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Collins and Karnowksi then accounted for the next seven points, including a 3-pointer by Collins and a thundering dunk by Karnowski. I think we did tonight.

Jackson and Meeks made up for poor offensive nights from Berry (2 of 14 shooting), Isaiah Hicks ( 1 of 12) and Pinson (2 of 8).

"We just tried to make heir touches as hard as possible and when they got he ball be all over them", Jackson said. Gonzaga forward Zach Collins blocks a shot by SC forward Maik Kotsar (21) during the second half in the semifinals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Saturday, April 1, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. "I thought the guys did a great job", Few said. "When things got tough, we banded together". "Totally out of it", Meeks said of his mindset after missing those two foul shots.

Meeks finished the night with 25 points and 14 rebounds while Justin Jackson added 22 points.

Dillon Brooks was a shell of himself, going 2-of-11 from the field and fouling out in the final minutes.

"Let's remember that", Williams said he told the Tar Heels.

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Guard Tyler Dorsey led OR with 21 points.

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