North Carolina's 71-65 win over Gonzaga in Monday's NCAA championship game turned on several key plays, but arguably none bigger than Kennedy Meeks' rejection ofGonzaga All-American Nigel Williams-Goss' shot in the closing seconds.
That play landed Meeks on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated. Here's a peek at the cover, courtesy of WCNC-TV in Charlotte.
After the game, the seniorforward told the Charlotte Observerhe was in shock.
“As far as crying, no,” Meeks said, “but I’m sure I will. I’m still in shock. I’m so blessed that my family got to witness this. And to be a national champion in my final game —what a milestone in my life.”
Joel Berry won the Final Four Most Outstanding Player Award, and deservedly so, but without Meeks, it might have been a sad night in Chapel Hill. He had only seven points Monday, but collected 10 rebounds and helped shut down Gonzaga's vaunted frontcourt. And without his epic 25 points and 14rebounds Saturday against Oregon, the Tar Heels might have been watching Monday's game on TV.
So Meeks didn't win the MOP Award. But he got a nice SI Cover to remember the Tar Heels' sixth national championship.