GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Justin Jackson delivered the go-ahead three-point play and North Carolina scored the last eight points for a 71-65 win over Gonzaga and a title that heartbreakingly eluded the Tar Heels last year.
It was an ugly affair, filled with 44 fouls and 52 free throws but, ultimately, the contest with the result the Tar Heels (33-7) simply had to have.
This was their redemption season, and they closed the deal a year after losing on a 3-pointer at the buzzer to Villanova.
Carolina was down 2 with 1:40 left when Jackson took a pass under the bucket from Theo Pinson, made a layup and got fouled.
The free throw made it 66-65, and after a Gonzaga miss on the other end, Isaiah Hicks made a shot to help North Carolina start pulling away to the school's sixth title.