The Tar Heels won Monday night, but everyone seems to agree on Tuesday morning that it was not a pretty sight.
Sports writers across the nation are using terms like “ugly,” “stunk,” “bizarrely skittish” and “unwatchable” to describe the play that took place during the NCAA championship.
Of course, Carolina fans won’t care, since they are winners...again.
But here’s what folks are saying around the country about the game:
“Forget the victory and the significance of the moment for champion North Carolina and national runner-up Gonzaga, because we must start with this: Monday night's national championship game -- beset by an abundance of foul calls, poor offense and a sleep-inducing rhythm -- stunk. For everyone.”
“The 71–65 victory over Gonzaga that brought North Carolina its national championship was a close game but not, in fact, a particularly good game. A barge-load of fouls and missed shots and missed calls dulled the sheen of two very good basketball teams convening to compete for a trophy.”
Terence Moore, Sports on Earth
“It's tainted, and it's likely to get ripped from the record books by the NCAA cops...The Tar Heels couldn't shoot, for instance. They struggled rebounding. They often looked clueless in general, and so did Gonzaga, along with the referees who had a love affair all night with their whistles. The combination made for one of the most brutal games in the history of these things.”
“This year’s title game was a cold-shooting, foul-filled affair, but what the game lacked in aesthetics, it made up for in drama, with the game on the line in the final minute.”
“It's OK, Carolina, you can open your eyes. An unwatchable game turned into a beautiful night for the Tar Heels, who turned a free-throw contest into a championship they've been waiting an entire year to celebrate...But to say everything went right for Roy Williams' team at this Final Four would be less than the truth. The Tar Heels (33-7) followed a terrible-shooting night in the semifinal with an equally ice-cold performance in the final - going 4 for 27 from 3-point land and 26 for 73 overall.”
“A bizarrely skittish national championship game served as one of the choppiest contests of the tournament, for the Tar Heels, that will be forgotten in the glow of a championship win.”
“It was a sloppily played game, and at times poorly officiated, as the referees seemed to miss several calls in the second half. And so, even though only seven other teams have rebounded from a championship-game loss to return the title game, and even though their loss in last year’s final was uniquely devastating, here were the Tar Heels, none the worse for wear.”
“The game was far from a classic — until the final five minutes. A foul-riddled second half put both teams in the bonus midway through the second period, and neither squad could hit a jump shot. Some of the most exciting plays were scraps for loose balls and, regrettably, controversial calls. North Carolina’s shooting all game was horrendous. It went 4 for 27 from beyond the arc, and made just 36 percent of its total field goal attempts. It missed 11 free throws. Gonzaga’s 3-point shooting was much better, but it couldn’t score around the rim.”