The potential one-and-done first-round picks were crushed, after Luke Maye's jumper with 0.3 seconds remaining sent top-seeded North Carolina to the Final Four following the thrilling, 75-73, victory at FedExForum in Memphis, and No. 2 Kentucky to an offseason of regret.
Trailing 73-70 with 10 seconds left, Kentucky freshman guard Malik Monk hit an off-balanced shot over two defenders to tie the game at 73 apiece.
Kentucky led for only 3:57 in a game North Carolina had a big edge on the boards (44-34) and inside where the Tar Heels outscored the Wildcats 34-26.
He made just one of his final four shots in the second half and two of his final nine of the game.
Kentucky (32-6) will miss out on the Final Four for the second straight year. This isn't a locker room that looks like guys don't care. "Last week in the Arkansas game, we were down five and I said this is going to help us because we're going to come back.it worked out".
Now the Tar Heels will try to repeat what happened the last time they won the South Region in Memphis back in 2009.
It is the morning after his team and Roy Williams' team have played the game of the year in college basketball for a second time and John Calipari is talking about it now, from back home in Lexington.
But Monk made just two field goals in the first 39 minutes and 21 seconds of the game before hitting a pair of 3-pointers down the stretch.
Fox and Adebayo each had 13 points to lead Kentucky.
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"I don't even think we were thinking", Monk said. "There were a lot of stuff that went on, and our kids fought through it. I'm really happy for this team and the work they've put in". It was a terrific game.
Gonzaga beat Xavier in a blowout on Saturday to advance to its first Final Four. And because we're not in the same league, we knew that if we played them again that it would have to be in the NCAA Tournament, so you would hope it is as far down the line as you possibly could. United Kingdom went 24-1 in games Humphries played in.
Anytime Kentucky needed a big shot, it was Isaac Humphries-not Monk or Fox-who came through.
Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss (5) shoots past Xavier guard J.P. Macura during the second half of an NCAA Tournament college basketball regional final game Saturday, March 25, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. There were 14 lead changes and 10 ties. The North Carolina coach sure has done his best to make sure his Tar Heels know how to hit game-winning shots.
Thornwell, the regional MVP, followed the deciding free throws with a nice assist to Maik Kotsar for a 4-point lead.
He says, "We get the lead and then we break down". "We kind of weren't in the spots we were supposed to be in".
NOTES: North Carolina and Kentucky entered Sunday's game with 244 combined NCAA Tournament wins, the most of any matchup in tournament history. Because I won't watch this tape.
It was an ending Williams desired after the last play of last season's national title game.
Nevertheless, Pinson found Maye, who was the only one that had a good look. "Many players and schools across the country would trade places with them in a heartbeat". At that point, it became a transition game of 3-on-3 with the ball in the hands of UNC's best facilitator and Kentucky freshman De'Aaron Fox tasked with defending Pinson the length of the floor without fouling.