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.

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.