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UNC gets redemption…and the title

The road to seventh NCAA championship for the North Carolina Tar Heels began on April 5, 2016 – the day after Villanova’s Kris Jenkins hit the buzzer-beating game-winning shot to break the Tar Heel heart. That was the day they moved forward with a one-word slogan for their 2016-2017 campaign: Redemption.

Maybe the headliners of the team were slightly different as Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson graduated, but Joel Berry II, Justin Jackson, Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks were all part of a deep group of players who were big players on that team last season that came up short. And they made it a mission to make up for coming up short last year.

It’s almost funny that in a Final Four that featured two teams playing in their first and another team playing in their first semifinal since the 1930s, that the powerhouse of the group was the one that ended up cutting down the nets. But one thing remains true about the Tar Heels, and that is that no situation ever seems too big for them and they never look uncomfortable in any situation.

Now that Gonzaga looked uncomfortable in the championship game, because for most of the game they were neck-and-neck with North Carolina, but a 9-2 run to end the game, including some big steals at the end to secure the victory was the deciding factor. UNC was ahead by one point in the final minute, but Isaiah Hicks calmly battled through traffic got close to the rim and floated the ball up and into the hoop to make it a three-point game. Gonzaga rushed their shot and had it blocked by Meeks. And Jackson finished on the other end with a dunk. Immediately after Gonzaga threw the ball down the court was picked off.

As great as the Bulldogs had played, their rushed shot and rushed throw cost them dearly and UNC got the job done with the clutch plays.

All season long the Tar Heels were the top team in what appeared to be the best conference in the country. While the ACC horribly disappointed in the NCAA Tournament, the Tar Heels didn’t and took care of business, made miracle shots and came up with some ridiculously clutch plays throughout the tournament.

And they redeemed themselves and became champions.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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