The North Carolina Tar Heels earned redemption and a national championship Monday with a 71-65 victory over the Gonzaga Bulldogs just a year after Villanova's Kris Jenkins stunned them with a buzzer-beater to win the title.
Some of North Carolina's primary pieces naturally had plenty to say in the aftermath.
The win in Glendale, Arizona, marked head coach Roy Williams' third national championship, which is one ahead of former North Carolina coach Dean Smith. "I think of Coach Smith, there's no question," Williams said, per Eddie Pells of the Associated Press (h/t Greenville Online). "I don't think I should be mentioned in the same sentence with him."
Williams was asked if his team was going to visit President Donald Trump at the White House after the win and said, "Let me think on it…I don't know if we're going to get invited," per Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated.
Williams also credited his players for the success, per Pells, "But we got three because I've got these guys with me and that's all I care about right now—my guys."
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One of those guys was Joel Berry, who was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player and led the team with 22 points in Monday's contest.
He discussed his emotions when Justin Jackson's dunk put North Carolina up five in the closing seconds, per Josh Peter of USA Today, "Just to see him dunk the ball, I almost started crying then."
Berry had to shoot free throws in the waning moments and added, "I told coach to take a timeout before my free throw because I was about to just lose it."
Berry earned the MOP, but Kennedy Meeks' defense proved critical with the block that set up Jackson's dunk and a late steal. He finished with seven points and 10 rebounds, and NCAA March Madness shared his comments when he called the victory "a dream come true:"
NCAA March Madness @marchmadness
“It just shows how hard we worked.” - National Champion Kennedy Meeks https://t.co/1LUtf4yWRI2017-4-4 04:38:14
North Carolina will soon turn its attention toward chasing the next dream in the 2017-18 season, but it earned the right to celebrate throughout the offseason Monday.