North Carolina
North Carolina guard Caleb Love reacts to a loss against Kansas after a college basketball game in the finals of the Men's Final Four NCAA tournament, Monday, April 4, 2022, in New Orleans. Kansas won 72-69. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

North Carolina Fails to Survive Kansas in a Nail-Biting NCAA Championship Showdown

The NCAA Tournament finally came to an end last night after the Kansas Jayhawks took the win over the North Carolina Tar Heels (72-69) in a historic comeback. Let’s review the Tar Heels’ season and Coach Davis’ thoughts on their success in March Madness.

The Tar Heels’ March Madness Performance

North Carolina started the tournament with a 93-63 win over Marquette. They then proceeded to defeat No. 1 Baylor (93-86) and No. 4 UCLA (73-66). Taking a victory against St. Peter’s (69-49) in the Elite Eight, UNC earned a spot in the Final Four where they beat their rival Duke Blue Devils 81-77. This was the first time the two rivals met in the NCAA men’s tournament which lead to the end of legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s career.

After making it to the championship to play Kansas, both teams showed up to give fans a thrilling showdown. North Carolina built a 16-point lead and ended the first half with a 40-25 point lead. Coming into the second half, Kansas tied it up 50-50 after the first nine minutes due to a 25-10 Jayhawk run. Both teams were coming head-to-head until the last 40 seconds. The score read 70-69 with Kansas in the lead. After going back and forth in the final seconds, UNC’s Caleb Love put up a three but airballed as the clock hit triple zeros.

Although being runner-ups in the national title game, North Carolina finished their season with a 29-10 overall record. Despite the championship loss, they have the third-most NCAA men’s basketball national championships with six. Unfortunately, with this number of wins, comes the same number of defeats. Monday marks the sixth time North Carolina lost a national game title. This number puts the school in a three-way tie for the most in NCAA history.

Coach Davis’ Post-Season Thoughts

Despite the loss, North Carolina’s Head Coach Hubert Davis had only positive things to say about his players in a post-game interview.

Davis has greatly expressed that he is filled with pride and is looking forward to continuing to care for and coach his team.

What’s in Store for the Future of North Carolina?

As for the future of the Tar Heels, no players have announced their 2022-23 plans, but we can predict a few things. North Carolina is anticipated to be as high as the top five if players such as Armando Bacot, Caleb Love, and R.J. Davis return to Chapel Hill. Coach Davis is expecting a pair of top-50 prospects Seth Trimble and Jalen Washington to show up for him. Four-star forward Tyler Nickel is also contributing to the powerful trio as they make up the No. 3 recruiting class in the ACC. The weight of these newcomers’ roles will ultimately determine if the current stars will stay or go. As for UNC’s defensive star, Leaky Black, he may return to the program thanks to a COVID year.

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