North Carolina missed 4 free-throws in the final 5 seconds and is still going to the title game

With the game on the line, North Carolina put Oregon away by doing what it does best.

As gifted offensively and athletically as the North Carolina Tar Heels are, the team’s biggest strength all season long has been in an area of basketball that the kids would call, well, boring.

No team in college basketball averages more rebounds per game (43.7) than North Carolina, and no team in college basketball rebounds a higher percentage of its own missed shots (40.9 percent) than the Tar Heels. While those may not be statistics that wow the country like points per game or three-point shooting percentage, they represent a skill-set that may have just saved UNC’s national title hopes.

In the closing seconds of its win over Oregon in the Final Four Saturday night, North Carolina seemed determined to put themselves in a position where a buzzer-beater could break their hearts even more completely than Kris Jenkins did a year ago.

Clinging to a 77-76 lead with just five seconds to play, Kennedy Meeks missed two free-throws. Instead of Oregon racing down the court for a potential game-winner, Theo Pinson was able to tap the offensive rebound back to Joel Berry, who was then sent back to the line.

After Berry too missed a pair of freebies at the stripe, it was Meeks who came down with the offensive board to secure the victory and send North Carolina to its second consecutive national title game appearance.

For the game, North Carolina finished with 17 offensive rebounds. Never underestimate the importance of attacking the glass, kids.

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North Carolina defeats Oregon to head to National Championship: Scores and highlights from the Final Four

UNC takes down Oregon in National Semifinal.

The North Carolina Tar Heels and Oregon Ducks play the second Final Four game on Saturday night in Phoenix, Arizona. The Tar Heels are making their 20th appearance in the Final Four, while the Ducks are making only their second ever. With around 77,000 fans watching, North Carolina, a one-seed in the tournament, will tip off against the three-seed Oregon at 9:04pm EST. The winner will face Gonzaga on Monday night.

Refresh this post throughout the evening for updates, analysis, pictures and videos from the game as we find out who will be playing in the National Championship game on Monday.

11:24 — FINAL: UNC 77, Oregon 76

11:23 — UNC missed TWO MORE FREE THROWS, and Oregon could again not get the rebound. Wow.

11:22 — UNC missed both free throws, but Oregon could not get a rebound and had to foul again.

11:21 — Oregon gets within one at 77-76 with 5.8 seconds remaining.

11:17 — Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey just hit a three-pointer that hit every part of the rim before falling down. UNC still leads 77-74 with 42 seconds left. HERE WE GO.

11:11 — It’s 74-69 with 1:57 to go. UNC has the lead and will get the ball back after referees reviewed an out of bounds call. Oregon needs to make a move quick to stay in this game.

10:54 — Oregon keeps trying to break into UNC’s lead but the Tar Heels are keeping them them at arms length. North Carolina leads 68-62 with 6:18 left.

10:23 — Oregon’s Dana Altman had to call a timeout with 3 minutes into the second half as UNC jumped out to a 46-38 lead.

10:00 — After being down eight, UNC had an 11-point swing, taking a 39-36 lead at halftime. The Tar Heels finished the half strong after scoring 22 points in the first in 16 mins, they scored 17 in the last four.

9:52 — Dyan Ennis with the HUGE BLOCK but UNC leads Oregon 37-36 with 1:11 left in the first half.

9:41 — North Carolina is now facing their biggest deficit of the tournament. Oregon has jumped out to 30-22 with 3:50 to go in the first half.

9:22 — It’s a low scoring game. We’re stuck at 11-11 at the under 12:00 media timeout.

9:12 — We’re tied 9-9 with 15:00 minutes to go in the first half.

9:08 — North Carolina fans have a strong sign game tonight.

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Flynn Did Not Disclose Income From Russian Companies: White House

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Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, failed to disclose payments from a Russian television network and a second firm linked to Russia in a February financial disclosure form, according to documents released by the White House on Saturday.

In a financial disclosure form signed by Flynn on March 31, the former White House official listed speaking engagements to Russian entities, including the Kremlin-funded RT TV and Volga-Dnepr Airlines.

The form does not say how much Flynn was paid but the speeches are in a section titled “sources of compensation exceeding $5,000 in a year.”

The speeches were not included in a form that Flynn signed electronically on February 11, which the White House also released on Saturday.

The discrepancy on reporting income linked to Russia could add to Flynn’s legal woes. The retired general, who was forced to resign after only 24 days, is under scrutiny for his contacts with Russian officials in a wider investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

He has requested immunity if he testifies before the intelligence committees of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, his lawyer, Robert Kelner, said on Thursday.

Flynn was forced out on Feb. 13 for failing to disclose talks with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak about U.S. sanctions on Moscow and misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations, which occurred before Trump took office.

Trump, a Republican, said in a tweet that Democrats were pursuing investigations because they were upset about his Nov. 8 victory over their party’s candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Congressional committees and the FBI are looking into allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the election campaign.

The Russian government has denied the allegations and denied that it hacked emails of Democratic groups and released information to tip the election toward Trump, who has called for better U.S. relations with Moscow.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Mary Milliken)

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