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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
UNC topples KU, Wilt Chamberlain
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

March 23, 1957

In the NCAA finals, unbeaten North Carolina starts the game by having 5-foot-10 Tommy Kearns jump center against Kansas' 7-1 Goliath, Wilt Chamberlain. The sophomore center has an easier time with the tap than he does against the Tar Heels' collapsing defense, with 6-9 Joe Quigg playing in front of him and other defenders leaving their zone to surround him.

The strategy works, as Chamberlain is limited to 13 shots (making six) in the three-overtime game in Kansas City. Though he scores a game-high 23 points, his teammates, as Chamberlain says, "couldn't put a pea in the ocean."

Second-ranked Kansas leads 46-43 with 1:45 left in the second half when N.C.'s leading scorer Len Rosenbluth (20 points) fouls out. But the Tar Heels score three points to force an overtime. In the first extra period, each team only scores two points, with Chamberlain's basket tying the game. The second overtime is scoreless.

With six seconds left in the third overtime and N.C. down by a point, Quigg is on the foul line. Quigg nervously makes the two free throws and after he knocks away a pass intended for Chamberlain, the Tar Heels have a 54-53 victory, capping their 32-0 season.

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