March Madness 2017: NCAA Championship Score, Highlights, and Play by Play


Did you catch the final game for March Madness?  The NCAA Championship had the Gonzaga Bulldogs vs the North Carolina Tar Heels. Did your team win? Find out here, with the score, highlights, and recap.

It’s been an awfully long journey for both the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Hell, it’s been a long month for us all, but here we are.

This became North Carolina’s second consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship. They would’ve won it all last year had it not been swiped away by a last minute buzzer beater on the behalf of the Villanova Wildcats. (Yeah, that was the team that got knocked out early in this year’s tournament.) So tonight North Carolina made another attempt to bring the National Championship home.

On the other hand, you had the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who’ve fought like hell to get here. This is only their first appearance at the March Madness Championship game, and they were looking to do it all on their first trip. They made this very clear throughout the first half when they outrebounded North Carolina, who is supposed to be one of the top rebounding teams in the country.

The clip below was the last time that North Carolina had the lead, for the entire first half of the March Madness Championship.

From that point on, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, or Zags (just cause I heard the name, and loved it!) maintained the lead, but both teams continued to put up points. The Zags got the lead by as much as 7 points or more at times, but the Tar Heels weren’t going down without a fight. They were able to bring it back within a 3-1 point game several times. The leading scorers of the first half were Josh Perkins from Gonzaga, who had 13 points and Joel Berry II, with the Tar Heels, who had 9 points. The score was 35-32, with Gonzaga running the show at halftime.

The second half opened up with North Carolina ready to fight. They held Gonzaga back in the beginning seconds while they took the lead at 37-35. Then things got really sluggish. I’m no pro when it comes to basketball, but there were a lot of fouls called. Aside from that things were the opposite from the first half. Every time North Carolina hit a run, Gonzaga came chasing them down.

The only big difference with the Tar Heels leading in the second half was that the Zags kept a much closer deficit. In fact, they were able to get ahead of North Carolina a couple of times. The New York Times reported that there were 21 fouls called in the second half alone. One foul looked especially nasty, and the announcers compared Prezemek Karnowski’s overly aggressive block on Joel Berry II to being hit by a Mack truck. So yeah, some of these fouls were necessary.

Both teams battled back and forth. North Carolina gets the lead with 54-52.

Gonzaga takes it back at 60-59.

Before you knew it, there were only two minutes left in the game and the score was tied 65-65. North Carolina skipped back ahead, but the game stayed close. Gonzaga had a shot but lost it. North Carolina was able to get in couple shots and wind down the clock in the process. The North Carolina Tar Heels win 71-65! North Carolina got their revenge and their 6th NCAA Championship game!

Related Story: Run Up To March Madness: The UNC Tar Heels - Culturess

Congratulations to UNC for the win!