Last-shot practice pays with Final Four for North Carolina

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Seventh-seeded SC is heading to the Final Four for the first time in school history.

Kennedy Meeks finished with seven points, 17 rebounds and four blocks as North Carolina advances to face OR in the Final Four on Saturday.

Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss (5) shoots past Xavier guard J.P. Macura during the second half of an NCAA Tournament college basketball regional final game Saturday, March 25, 2017, in San Jose, Calif.

He made just one of his final four shots in the second half and two of his final nine of the game.

Many people who just watched the end of North Carolina's stunning 75-73 win against Kentucky wondered who the heck Luke Maye is.

"We didn't say anything about it", North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "My first year on staff we won four Division I games". In the second game, North Carolina opened as a 4 1/2-point pick over Oregon.

North Carolina then raced down the court to get a quick shot up before time expired.

North Carolina will now play OR in the Final Four on Saturday, April 1. "But I'm really happy for this team and the work that they've put in, the toughness that they've shown, and they're just, they're wonderful kids". And when Hicks got in early foul trouble against Butler in the Sweet 16, Maye became much more than a sub for the Tar Heels (31-7). But after the Ducks lost shot-blocker Chris Boucher to a knee injury during the Pac-12 Tournament, Bell proved his ability to dominate inside by finishing with 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks in the Midwest Region final to help the Ducks beat No. 1 seed Kansas for their first Final Four since winning the 1939 NCAA title.

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They tapped into their experience with Williams able to start two seniors and three juniors, while second-seeded Kentucky (32-6) started only one senior, a sophomore and a trio of talented freshmen. The Tar Heels will be making their record 20th trip, and most of the players on this year's roster were on hand last season to find out all about the agony of coming oh-so close to winning it all.

Those who played in that loss to Villanova have seen this season as their chance at redemption.

PHOENIX (AP) - Consider North Carolina the tour guide at this year's Final Four.

Maye finished with 17 points off the bench for North Carolina. "But I know that when Frank Martin stepped foot on campus, you just got this vibe that the ball was rolling". "It was a great feeling".

Kentucky led for only 3:57 in a game North Carolina had a big edge on the boards (44-34) and inside where the Tar Heels outscored the Wildcats 34-26.

North Carolina led by as much as 9 a couple times before both teams went into shooting slumps.

However, UNC went on a 12-0 run (including six points from Pinson) to take a 71-64 lead with 54 seconds left. Everyone wanted to know the future of the Kentucky freshmen, whether De'Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo had played their final game together as Wildcats.

"That shot is just playing back and forth in my head", Fox said. It's going to be hard to get over, but I know I got to.

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