UNC vs. Kentucky: Score and Twitter Reaction from March Madness 2017

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 27, 2017

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 26:  Luke Maye #32 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts after a basket late in teh second half against the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at FedExForum on March 26, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

North Carolina sophomore forward Luke Maye drilled a long two-point jumper with three-tenths of a second remaining to give the Tar Heels a 75-73 victory over Kentucky. UNC advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament with the win.

Maye's jumper capped a wild sequence in which UKย freshman guard Malik Monk hit an off-balance three-pointer with two Tar Heels in his face to tie the game at 73 with 7.2 seconds left.

UNC immediately inbounded the ball, and junior forward Theo Pinson drove the length of the court before dishing the ball off to Maye, who calmly drilled the jumper to give UNC the win:

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #Elite8 https://t.co/GETD7qN2kG

Allstate's Mayhem did his best impression of Maye's likely inner monologue in crunch time:


Kentucky fired a desperation full-court pass to try to tie the game, but it went out of bounds.

The game seesawed back and forth in the final minutes. ย 

Kentucky, which did not take a lead until 2:25 into the second half, led 64-59 with 5:12 remaining after sophomore forward Isaac Humphries hit a jumper. Humphries had caught fire by then, as it rounded out a spurt of eight points in under three minutes for him.

However, UNC went on a 12-0 run (including six points from Pinson) to take a 71-64 lead with 54 seconds left.

Freshman guard De'Aaron Fox then hit a three-pointer to bring UK within four:ย 

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

Kentucky will not go quietly! #Elite8 https://t.co/klDlTJJQzd

After a UNC turnover, Monk hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to one point:

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

MALIK MONK! #Elite8 https://t.co/E5fZbOhMQi

Maye then immediately found forward Justin Jackson with a full-length pass down the court, and the junior put in a layup to give UNC a 73-70 lead with 34 seconds left.

After a Kentucky turnover, Jackson missed the front end of a one-and-one, leading to the game's final frenetic moments.ย 

UNC's dominance down low was the difference. The Tar Heels out-rebounded the Wildcats 44-34 and also blocked nine UK shots.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Elite Lob-blocking here ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿพ https://t.co/ju4TkXB5Ng

The reserves shined on the big stage for both teams. For Kentucky, Humphries scored 12 points, andย senior guard Dominique Hawkins continued his hot NCAA tournament shooting by drilling a pair of three-pointers and scoring 10 first-half points.ย 

UK sorely needed Hawkins' production, as Fox picked up two quick fouls in 40 seconds and was forced to the bench with 12:23 remaining in the first half.

For North Carolina, Maye scored 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

Jackson led UNC with 19 points, and senior Kennedy Meeks grabbed 17 boards and blocked four shots. Freshman forward Bam Adebayo and Fox scored 13, while Monk added 12.

North Carolina will now play Oregon in the Final Four on Saturday, April 1.

Postgame Reaction

Fox, one of the toughest players in college basketball, was understandably emotional after the tough loss:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Lots of emotions for Kentucky after a tough loss (via @joe_mussatto) https://t.co/a5qBBbcuFR

Jackson talked about brotherhood, per NCAA March Madness on Twitter:

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

Brotherhood. #FinalFour #GoHeels https://t.co/tAc7vyfK1J

UNC head coach Roy Williams issued a mea culpa after saying that he wanted Maye to play as a walk-on. It's certainly forgiven now:

March Madness TV @MarchMadnessTV

"My guys are pretty tough too" @tracywolfson w/ @UNC_Basketball's Roy Williams and Luke Maye https://t.co/JrVvnG4r0K

Needless to say, Williams and his players were pretty excited:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Roy's back at it again๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿป (via @UNC_Basketball) https://t.co/4gXX2g5DA2

UK head coach John Calipari was not happy with the officiating, per Dan Bodner of Kentucky Sports Connection. It is understandable given that four of five UK starters had two fouls before halftime:


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