Junior guard Joel Berry scored a game-high 22 points as the North Carolina Tar Heels claimed redemption with a 71-65 win over Gonzaga in the National Championship game on April 4 in Glendale, Ariz. 

North Carolina players celebrate after the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Gonzaga, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina won 71-65. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

North Carolina players celebrate after the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Gonzaga, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina won 71-65. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The win gives North Carolina (33-7) its sixth national title in school history, and third under 14-year head coach Roy Williams. 

The Tar Heels’ road to redemption started a year ago when they found themselves on the losing end of the 2016 NCAA championship game. North Carolina had victory in hand until Villanova guard Kris Jenkins nailed a buzzer-beating three-pointer to steal the title. This time, the Tar Heels didn’t let it come down to the buzzer—they scored eight unanswered points while holding Gonzaga scoreless over the final two minutes to secure the win. 

North Carolina players celebrate after the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Gonzaga, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina won 71-65. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

North Carolina made just 4-of-27 shots from the three-point line and just 35 percent of their total shots from the field. But the Tar Heels out-hustled Gonzaga on defense down the stretch, proving to be the hungrier team. 

Junior forward Justin Jackson added 16 points, and senior forward Isaiah Hicks added 13 points with nine rebounds for North Carolina. 

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and players celebrate after the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Gonzaga, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina won 71-65. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss led Gonzaga with 15 points and nine rebounds. 

After reaching both the Final Four and the championship game for the first time ever, Gonzaga concluded its magical season with a 37-2 record.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor