North Carolina wins national championship over Gonzaga

The North Carolina Tar Heels are national champions.

One year after a heartbreaking loss to Villanova at this same stage, the Tar Heels beat Gonzaga, 71-65, in a choppy, back-and-forth title game. This year, it was the Tar Heels that made clutch plays down the stretch and spilled out onto the the court in celebration.

Playing in its 11th NCAA tournament final, North Carolina won its sixth national title, and third under Roy Williams, who is rapidly rising toward a potential spot on the Mount Rushmore of college basketball coaches.

Henry Bushnell

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina Tar Heels forward Theo Pinson (1) cuts the net after the game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. North Carolina defeated Gonzaga 71-65. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

Theo Pinson #1 and Joel Berry II #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels embrace after time expires during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

2017 NCAA championship

Theo Pinson #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels makes a confetti angel after time expired during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and players celebrate after the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Gonzaga, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina won 71-65. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina’s Theo Pinson (1) and the rest of the team celebrate after the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Gonzaga, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina won 71-65. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina Tar Heels forward Kennedy Meeks (3) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs 71-65 in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina players celebrate after the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Gonzaga, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina won 71-65. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina players celebrate after the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Gonzaga, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina won 71-65. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina Tar Heels players react after defeating Gonzaga Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina Tar Heels players celebrate after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina Tar Heels players celebrate after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina Tar Heels forward Theo Pinson (1) dances with teammates after the win over Gonzaga Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina players celebrate after the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Gonzaga, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina won 71-65. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina players celebrate after the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Gonzaga, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina won 71-65. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

2017 NCAA championship

Theo Pinson #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrates after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. The Tar Heels defeated the Bulldogs 71-65. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

2017 NCAA championship

Theo Pinson #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrates with teammates after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. The Tar Heels defeated the Bulldogs 71-65. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

2017 NCAA championship

The North Carolina Tar Heels celebrate after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. The Tar Heels defeated the Bulldogs 71-65. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina’s Joel Berry II (2) celebrates after the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Gonzaga, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina won 71-65. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

2017-04-04T2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina Tar Heels players celebrate after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina Tar Heels forward Theo Pinson (1) and his teammates react after the game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina Tar Heels forward Shea Rush (11) and his teammates react after the game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

GettyImages-664243864

Theo Pinson #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels dunks in the first half against Przemek Karnowski #24 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

GettyImages-62017 NCAA championship64256712

Tony Bradley #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels shoots against Zach Collins #32 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the first half during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Steppig – Pool/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

2017 NCAA championship

Nigel Williams-Goss #5 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs shoots against Justin Jackson #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second half during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

2017 NCAA championship

Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Nigel Williams-Goss (5) shoots the ball against North Carolina Tar Heels forward Isaiah Hicks (4) in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina Tar Heels forward Justin Jackson (44) shoots the ball against Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Zach Collins (32) during the second half in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina Tar Heels guard Joel Berry II (2) shoots over Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Josh Perkins (13) in the second half in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

Theo Pinson #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reaches for a rebound over Przemek Karnowski #24 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Steppig/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

2017 NCAA championship

Isaiah Hicks #4 of the North Carolina Tar Heels shooots against Zach Collins #32 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the first half during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Steppig – Pool/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

2017 NCAA championship

Zach Collins #32 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs shoots against Isaiah Hicks #4 of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the first half during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

2017 NCAA championship

Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Zach Collins (32) passes the ball away from North Carolina Tar Heels guard Joel Berry II (2) in the first half in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina Tar Heels forward Kennedy Meeks (3) knocks the ball away from Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Zach Collins (32) during the first half in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

2017-04-04T012909Z_352551023_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_NCAA-BASKETBALL-FINAL-FOUR-CHAMPIONSHIP-GAME-GONZAGA-VS-NORTH-CAROLINA

North Carolina Tar Heels forward Isaiah Hicks (4) blocks the shot of Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Zach Collins (32) in the first half in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

Gonzaga Bulldogs center Przemek Karnowski (24) is defended by North Carolina Tar Heels forward Theo Pinson (1) in the first half in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NCAA championship

North Carolina’s Isaiah Hicks (4) and Gonzaga’s Johnathan William (3) battle for the possession of the ball at tipoff during the first half in the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

2017 NCAA championship

The flag is displayed during the national anthem before the finals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)