Monday night UNC Tarheels earned the title of National Champions, beating the Gonzaga Bulldogs 71-65. Last year, UNC suffered a disappointing loss to Villanova in the finals. While the team did not want to make the season about redemption of last year’s championship loss, that became the common focus that brought together the UNC men’s basketball team to fight and regain a National Champion Title Monday night. They are only one of four teams to win a National Championship game the year immediately following a runner-up loss.
So how did the Tarheels overcome the gritty attitudes of the Zags? They embraced the privilege of getting a second chance. The game was a back and forth battle, but UNC created a new spark in the second half. At half-time, assistant coach Hubert Davis spoke to the team. He reminded them that few teams have the chance at redemption, saying, “ very few times in your life do you get second chances. You get a redo. You actually get the chance to do something about it. What are you going to do?”
This is all the motivation the Tarheels needed to come out for the bout to conquer the Zags. They fought until the buzzer and took home a sweet victory. What this team represents is the choice a team can make to either create excuses for an outcome or choose to take ownership and come out of the gates to retake a prize that is worth the effort and fight. It’s not about what happens to you, but how you respond with confidence, composure, and teamwork. As the Tarheels showed, they were in control of their own confidence, proving they can stay consistent throughout a playoff season, own it, and express it. This UNC team proves that being able to trust your skills and training, going through the process leads to the ultimate victory.