North Carolina Wins NCAA Title
Holds On To Beat Illinois, 75-70; 1st Title For Coach Roy Williams
Finally, Roy Williams had a good reason to cry.
Stymied so many times before in his pursuit of a title, the longtime coach broke through Monday night. The tears this time were tears of joy, the result of North Carolina's 75-70 victory over Illinois that finally gave Williams the national championship that was missing from his otherwise stellar 17-year career.
"I'm just so happy for myself, my family," Williams said. "These seniors ... they took me for a heck of a ride."
Sean May had 26 points and the Tar Heels didn't allow a basket over the final, excruciating 2½ minutes.
Freshman Marvin Williams had a tip-in with 1:26 left, Raymond Felton made three free throws down the stretch and the Tar Heels (33-4) won their first title since 1993, back when Dean Smith was coaching and Williams was at Kansas, in the middle of his Final Four futility.
"He is the greatest coach," Felton said. "If he retired tomorrow, I would vote for him for the Hall of Fame. He told us he would bring us a championship and we did it as a team."