As soon as Malik Monk hit the game-winning 3-pointer Saturday evening, room for debate was completely removed: Kentucky-North Carolina was the best game of the new college basketball season, and it most likely will hold that crown into March.
The 103-100 Wildcats win got America’s attention, drawing a 2.4 overnight rating — the highest of the 2016-2017 season — on CBS.
— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) December 18, 2016
Monk, a true freshman guard, put up 47 points — a Wildcats freshman record — and was named SEC Player of the Week for his efforts. Teammate De’Aaron Fox earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for his 24-point, 10-assist performance.
North Carolina completed an impressive second-half comeback to take a 100-98 lead with 44 seconds left, but Monk’s game-winning 3-pointer with 22 seconds remaining was the final word.
“It was a great college game,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said after the final buzzer. “It was a bunch of kids out there rising to the occasion and making special plays under pressure. I love up-and-down basketball. I’ve always felt like that’s the way I wanted to play 100 years ago and I want to coach that way. I think fans enjoy that.”