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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
ST. LOUIS - North Carolina center Sean May didn't have a long pre-game conversation with his father, Scott, the star of the 1976 Indiana championship team.
"He just said, "Hey, you've been playing long enough. You know what you have to do. You have one shot. You'll never forget this moment if you get it done. You guys are good enough to get it done if you play the way you're supposed to play,"' Sean said. "He said, "Son, I love you. I'm proud of you, but go get it done."'
May scored 26 on 10 of 11 shooting from the field to go with 10 rebounds as the Tar Heels beat Illinois 75-70. May was named the most outstanding player of the Final Four. For the record, Scott May scored 26 and had eight rebounds in the 86-68 championship win against Michigan.
"For me, it means a lot because I tried to live up to my father's expectations even though he hasn't wanted me to," said May, who watched a tape of the '76 finale three times in the days leading up to Monday's game. "I've tried to do some of the things he's done, especially the way I carry myself and the type of person I am."
As for finishing with more rebounds than his dad ...
"We'll have some fun with that," he said.
DECISIONS, DECISIONS: Illinois coach Bruce Weber said he hopes to talk to junior guards Deron Williams and Dee Brown in the coming days about their options, returning for another season and a possible title run or going to the NBA.
Brown, for one, sounded like he's thinking about the former.
"We've got some young, good talent on our team," he said. "I think Coach Weber will do a great job of getting us focused the next couple weeks."
CREDIT ALL AROUND: Roy Williams took another opportunity to pay tribute to Matt Doherty, who was forced to resign as North Carolina coach two years ago, which opened the door for Williams' return to Chapel Hill. Doherty recruited much of the team that won the title, including May, Raymond Felton and Rashad McCants.
"I feel for Matt Doherty. I really do," he said. "If Matt was right there, I would want him to know that this was special, and I would give Matt Doherty a big hug. Matt Doherty needs to be back in coaching, too."
STAT TALK: Illinois set a record for 3-point attempts in a championship game with 40. It made 12. The previous mark was 30 by Kentucky in an 84-79 overtime loss to Arizona in 1997. ... The Tar Heels became the first team to lead the nation in scoring and win the title since Loyola (Ill.) in 1963. The only other team to do it was Ohio State in 1960. ... Scott and Sean May are the third father-son combination to win a title, joining Henry (UCLA) and Mike Bibby (Arizona) and Marques (UCLA) and Kris Johnson (UCLA). ... An ACC team has now won three titles in the past five years. Duke won in 2001 and Maryland in 2002. The Big East (Syracuse and Connecticut) won the other two.
THE LAST WORD: "I jokingly said it but also meant it. The greatest thing about winning it for me personally was I won't have to answer that question anymore. Next year when the season starts, if you don't ask me how many holes-in-one I had over the summer, I'm really going to be ticked."
- Williams on the persistent questions about winning a championship.