By: Kylan Watson
It looked like history would repeat itself for the Tar Heels after Kentucky guard Malik Monk hit a game tying three-point shot in the final seconds of the 2nd half match-up between Kentucky and UNC. A couple of seconds later UNC forward Luke Maye hit the game winner, and became a UNC basketball legend. With his game winning shot Maye kept the Tar Heels road to redemption tour alive.
Before this game winning shot Kentucky was out of rhythm, the Tar Heels were on a 9-0 run and were up by 5, before Monk and Fox hit back to back three-point shots to tie the game. Coach Roy Williams made a couple of defensive adjustments that played a key role in decreasing Kentucky’s offensive firepower. During the final two minutes Williams told his team to use a zone defense against Kentucky. The zone defense stopped Kentucky from being able to drive the ball and stopped them from getting points in the paint. Kentucky had to rely on their outside shooting, which they are not particularly good at worked to perfection. However, a couple of late turnovers by UNC gave Kentucky, the opportunity it needed to tie the game.
Most coaches after a shot is made to tie the game would call a timeout, but not Coach Williams. The Tar Heels went right to work got the ball up the court quickly and gave Maye the opportunity to become a hero, and he took advantage of the opportunity. Now Maye’s shot has given Carolina its own version of “the shot.” Among college basketball fans the shot is the game winning shot Christian Laettner hit to send Duke to the Final Four in 1992.
The Tar Heels now head to a Final Four match-up with the Oregon Ducks on Saturday, April 1st 2017, at 9:05 pm EST. The Tar Heels have taken the heartbreaking loss they suffered against Villanova in the 2016 National Championship game, and used it as fuel for their season. The 2016-2017 UNC Men’s Basketball team is looking to redeem themselves and become national champions, and right now it does not look like any team will stop them. However, the Ducks will try and it should be a great game.