Maye-day! - North Carolina punches ticket to Final Four

Posted March 29, 2017

But after winning the Most Outstanding Player of the South Regional over some of the biggest stars in the country on UNC and Kentucky, the future for Maye as a player looks bright.

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.

"I just kind of stepped back, and he gave me the ball and I just shot it, and luckily it went in", Maye said. 'It was a great feeling'.

The game was all but over at that point, but it became official after Derek Willis' long inbounds pass sailed beyond Bam Adebayo's reach and UNC killed the final three-tenths of a second without incident.

Seconds later, UNC's celebration began.

Edrice Adebayo, the other member of Kentucky's freshmen trio, missed all five of his shot attempts in a first half during which Kentucky trailed by nine and was thoroughly outplayed by North Carolina center Kennedy Meeks, who finished with seven points, 17 rebounds and four blocks.

Not many people expected OR to make it this far without its shot-blocking big man, but the Ducks are guided by one of the country's top coaches in Dana Altman.

Meanwhile, UNC and OR have played four times, with the Tar Heels winning all four - the last coming in the 2008 Maui Invitational.

Despite a long night of travelling back from Memphis and presumably a bit of celebrating, Maye also knew where his loyalties lay and on Monday morning he was back on campus reporting to his Business 101 class.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Roy Williams still has not watched the tape of the 2016 national championship game and likely never will. He scored 16 against Bulter on Friday and then 17 Sunday.

Williams' decision not to call a timeout paid off as Kentucky left Maye open in transition.

The Wildcats (32-5) defeated the Tar Heels 103-100 in an epic showdown at Las Vegas earlier this season in the CBS Sports Classic, but much has changed since that first meeting more than a week before Christmas. Dominique Hawkins came off the bench to finish with 10.

Maye didn't play in that championship game last season, but he played in Smith's system in 33 games as a freshman, and he played in 33 more games again this season, averaging nearly 15 minutes per game. The elders on the team - Meeks, Jackson, Joel Berry II - will have another opportunity to cement their place in Tar Heel lore against OR on Saturday.

UNC leads the all-time series 24-15.

Williams didn't shy away from the fact the Tar Heels are glad to get another shot at the Wildcats. Not a chance, though.

Maye finished with 17 points, his second straight game with a career-high. Last April, the Tar Heels tied Villanova in the title game on an impossible double-clutch 3-pointer by Marcus Paige, only to lose at the buzzer when Kris Jenkins nailed a 25-footer. And that set up Monk, again. That allowed sophomore Luke Maye to drift out open to the left, where he drilled the game victor with 0.3 seconds on the clock for a 75-73 lead. It was simply a matter of Theo Pinson making the easy play.

"We all wanted to go to Phoenix", Fox said.

"I just went in the locker room and apologized to the four seniors that I couldn't, as their coach, get them to a Final Four", Kim Mulkey said after the season-ending overtime loss to Mississippi State. He hesitated for a quick second and then jumped and released. Jackson easily laid the ball in the basket. Marcus Paige's school got the last shot this time.