North Carolina Sneaks By Kentucky
What a time to be a fan of the Carolinas on Sunday. Just hours after the South Carolina Gamecocks made their way to the Final Four with a win over the Florida Gators, the North Carolina Tar Heels joined them in a contested win over the Kentucky Wildcats.
The game had all the electricity of any good basketball contest. It had all the star power and lead changes a fan could dream of.
North Carolina sealed the win with Luke Maye swishing a midrange jumper with only 0.3 seconds left in the game giving them a two-point lead over Kentucky.
The shot was eerily like the controlling basket made by South Carolina earlier. Maye told Associated Press about his thoughts in the moment.
“I just kind of stepped back, and he gave me the ball and I just shot it, and luckily it went in,” Maye said. “It was a great feeling.”
He added a career high 17 points off the bench to his 15 minutes of fame.
Kentucky showed how the young stars on the team have major grit and determination. The game went back and forth in the final minute with the Wildcats and Tar Heels hitting shot after shot.
Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk hit three after three on North Carolina. Contested or not the defense could not stop them from making it rain. But unfortunately, Maye’s shot was the final dagger.
“I probably should have called time out,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “It entered my mind, but they got that son of a B in so quick, I couldn’t get to anybody to do it. I needed to stop that right there.”
Monk would end the game with 12 points gong 3-6 from three according to ESPN. Fox joined him with 13 points along with Edric Adebayo.
North Carolina’s Justin Jackson notch a game high 19 points, five rebounds and four assists. Joel Berry II added 11 points and two steals.
In fact, Kentucky’s freshmen felt an excessive amount of pain in the loss. The notion that one-and-done players do not invest anything into the game was crushed.
“That shot is just playing back and forth in my head,” Fox said. “It’s going to be difficult to get over.”
The Tar Heels now move on to the Final Four to play against the Oregon Ducks. Also, the win even made former rival from Duke, Christian Laettner, rooted for UNC via Twitter.
Now we wait till after the Final Four to determine if we will a witness The War of the Carolinas for the National Title.
Watch: North Carolina vs. Kentucky Highlights