Despite 2 bad ankles, Berry named outstanding player
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Joel Berry II headed a trio of players for national champion North Carolina named to the all-tournament team for the Final Four.
Berry, hobbled by two bad ankles, played well enough in the championship game Monday night after a clunker in the semifinals to be named the outstanding player of the Final Four.
Berry was joined by teammates Kennedy Meeks and Justin Jackson.
Runner-up Gonzaga had the other two players on the team — Nigel Williams-Goss and Zach Collins.
The players were selected after no one played particularly well in what Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said was an “ugly” 71-65 win for North Carolina over Gonzaga.
The all-tournament players had bad offensive numbers, but better than everyone else.
North Carolina shot 34 percent from the field in the foul-riddled championship game, Gonzaga 36 percent.
Berry was 2-for-14 shooting in North Carolina’s 77-76 semifinal win over Oregon but was somewhat better in the title contest, going 7 for 19 from the field but 4 for 13 from 3-point range.
He did have six assists and one turnover in 37 minutes.
Meeks had 25 points and 14 rebounds in the semifinal win but seven points and 10 boards against the Zags.
Jackson scored 22 points and made four of nine 3-pointers in the semifinal but his long-range shooting touch vanished Monday night, when he was 6-for-6 on 2-pointers but 0-for-9 on 3s.
Williams-Goss scored 23 points in the semifinal win over South Carolina. But like just about everyone else, he couldn’t find the basket consistently on Monday, making 5 of 17 shots and scoring 15 points.
Collins was the hero in the semifinals, sinking the 3-pointer to put the Bulldogs ahead for good and finishing with 13 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots.
Monday night, he played just 14 minutes due to foul trouble. He had nine points and seven rebounds but fouled out with 5:03 to play.
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