PHOENIX – The North Carolina Tar Heels are heading back to the national title game, and once again a Charlotte local was a key factor.
Former West Charlotte Lion Kennedy Meeks was at his absolute best for the Heels Saturday, tying his career-high 25 points in a 77-76 victory over Oregon. The 25 points was easily Meeks’ most in tournament play, surpassing the 16 he scored against Arkansas in the second round of this year’s NCAA Tournament.
According to ESPN Stat & Info, Meeks became just the fifth player to score 25 points and record at least 14 rebounds in a Final Four game in the last 40 years, joining Carmelo Anthony, Ed O'Bannon, Danny Manning, and NBA legend Larry Bird.
During a sloppy first half that featured poor shooting from both teams, Meeks shined, leading all players with 14 points on 6-of-7 from the field. He also pulled down 5 first-half rebounds. He finished the game with 14 boards, including the game-winner with just 4 seconds left on the clock.
Meeks' performance wasn't without its flaws, though. With 5.2 seconds left, Carolina's big man went to the line with a chance to give the Heels a three-point lead. Meeks missed both shots, but a Theo Pinson rebound kept the ball in UNC's possession.
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