In a final game like this, it didn't matter who was the favorite team or which team won the most games of the season, both teams would have the same chance of winning the game and the team that had the best players and that the players had the best performance would win.
The players' families would be in that game and if the Tar Heels team won they would make history not only for North Carolina University but also for the entire College basketball, after all, few teams won two NCAA tournaments in a row.
Only the Duke Blue Devils teams, Cincinnati Bearcats, UCLA Bruins, Oklahoma State Cowboys, San Francisco Dons and the Kentucky Wildcats team that would be their next opponent, this was a very important game for the players, for Coach Guthridge, for the university, and for the fans too.
The team that would be the opponent in this final was the Kentucky Wildcats team, the Kentucky Wildcats team had another great season and even if it wasn't the favorite to win, no one would be surprised if they won that game.
After all, this was the Kentucky Wildcats' third consecutive final in three years, which meant that the Kentucky Wildcats team was among the top two teams in the NCAA tournament for three seasons.
In 1996 they won the NCAA tournament and last season they lost that game to the Tar Heels team in the final, so this season they were, even more, wanting to win that game to win the NCAA tournament again and also to get the rematch against the team Tar Heels for last season.
Jake was really confident that the Tar Heels team would win that game because the Tar Heels team had more difficulty against teams that had the best saves and the Kentucky Wildcats team didn't have that good defense and so it would be an open game.
This would also be a very important game that could change history, after all before Jake went back in time the Kentucky Wildcats team had won 8 NCAA tournaments and the Tar Heels team had won 6 if the Tar Heels team won in that game the Tar Heels team would have won the fifth NCAA tournament and in the future would have won 8 NCAA tournaments and the Kentucky Wildcats team only 7.
The players of the Tar Heels team were very excited and confident that the Tar Heels team would win this game, Jake was looking into the stands to find his friends, he can find his mother easily because he knew where she was.
He found Matthew and Oliver who were sitting next to Eva too, then he found Tiffany and Clara and can also find Eric, the hardest thing was for him to find Kate because she was in disguise again.
What was a surprise to Jake was that he met David Falk and NBA Lakers general manager Jerry West, he didn't expect David to come because David hadn't said anything, but soon Jake understood that it wouldn't be weird if he came with Jerry West for an NCAA tournament final game.
Jake felt more confident seeing that there were so many people rooting for him in this game, he really wanted to give everything he could to win this game that was his last game on the Tar Heels team.
Coach Guthridge asked players on the Tar Heels team to be careful of many players on the opposing team, Jeff Sheppard who had not played last season and was one of the main players on this current team.
Nazr Mohammed, Scott Padgett, and Wayne Turner, because of Nazr Mohammed coach Guthridge decided to put N'Diaye in the game instead of Okulaja, he had to do that because he didn't want to take Williams out of that game in the final.
But if someone played badly in that game Okulaja would join the team again, everyone knew that the Kentucky Wildcats team was also a very offensive team and therefore Coach Guthridge had to bet on the attack of Team Tar Heels that was stronger than in defense.
"Welcome to everyone who came to watch this game from the final of the NCAA tournament, in this championship game the two teams meet again just as it was last season that the Tar Heels team ended up winning the NCAA tournament."
"The Tar Heels team is the favorite to win this game because it has the best players, Jake Smith who has been doing his second season and with these seasons his name will go down in history as one of the best players in the history of college basketball."
"Jake has an incredible average this season of 35 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 9 steals, and 1.5 blocks, this is his game's average of 38 games so far."
"The Tar Heels team also has Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter, Shammond Williams, Ademola Okulaja, Makhtar N'Diaye and Ed Cota who form one of the best teams in the history of the Tar Heels team and this season achieved a record of 63 straight victories with last season."
"The other team in this NCAA tournament final is the Kentucky Wildcats team that is making the third consecutive final, three years in a row as one of the two best teams in college basketball."
"The Kentucky Wildcats team won in 1996 and lost last season to Team Tar Heels, and this season they try to win again with an incredible team with great players."
"The Kentucky Wildcats team has Jeff Sheppard who did not play in the last game of the final last season when the Tar Heels team won and he wants to win that game and win the NCAA tournament for the second time."
"The two teams have something else in common that the two teams are in the final even though they changed coaches this season, team Tar Heels had coach Dean Smith last season and this season coach Bill Guthridge and team Kentucky Wildcats had coach Rick Pitino last season and have Tubby Smith in that season."
"So we will see which of the two teams will win the NCAA tournament this season."
Just as commentators said these two teams had the best players and the best teams in the last two seasons of the NCAA tournament if Jake, Carter, and Jamison remained on the Tar Heels team they could play another season with a strong team.
In that game Coach, Guthridge asked the players of the Tar Heels team to try their best in defense and put a lot of pressure on the attack, even though the Tar Heels team did not need Jake to make the same strategy that in the last game Jake still had to try many outside shots in that game.
Coach Guthridge also hoped to count on Jamison and Carter's good performance within the three-point line and Williams as well, so the Tar Heels team could win more easily.
Right at the beginning of the game Jake received the ball and made a shot from outside and hit, making the first 3 points for the Tar Heels team, this showed that the Tar Heels team came to win this game, in the next plays the defense was stronger in Jake and Williams also tried a shot from outside to make 3 more points for the Tar Heels team.
Jake and the other players hoped that Williams could have another great performance in that game and thus help the Tar Heels team to win more easily against this difficult opponent who was the Kentucky Wildcats team.
The Kentucky Wildcats team also put pressure on the attack just as Coach Guthridge thought, in another move, Sheppard put the ball forward and when the Tar Heels defender pressed it he passed the ball to Turner, Turner soon received pressure from the defense and passed the ball for Mohammed ahead.
When Mohammed received the ball N'Diaye soon pressed in defense, Mohammed still managed to spin and lay up to get 2 more points for the Kentucky Wildcats team, at the beginning of the game the defense of the team Tar Heels could not stop the attack of the team Kentucky Wildcats that didn't miss an attack.
So in the first few minutes of the game, it was an exciting game for those who were watching because both teams were very good at attacking, the Kentucky Wildcats team missed a few attacks and Jamison and Jake was ready to receive the rebounds.
When the Tar Heels team missed attacks Jamison and Jake were still able to catch the offensive rebound because the players on the Kentucky Wildcats team were not so good at catching rebounds, it started to give the Tar Heels team an advantage and more confidence for Jake and Williams make three-point shots.
After 10 minutes of the 1st half of the game, Jake had realized that Sheppard was playing well and making three-point shots, so Jake decided to start defending more against Sheppard, that's when the Tar Heels team started to defend better and increase the advantage in the scoreboard.
In an attack move by the Tar Heels team, Jake advanced with the ball and passed to Williams on the right before passing through the middle of the court, Williams who was playing well in that game advanced with the ball and passed to Carter on the left before reaching the line of three points.
Carter held the ball a little and the Kentucky Wildcats team's defense came to press, Carter passed the ball to Jake who was behind when Jake received the ball the Kentucky Wildcats team's defense was soon to defend against him.
So Jake passed the ball further to Jamison on the left, Jamison received the ball and stepped forward to make the layup even with Mohammed in defense and made 2 more points for the Tar Heels team.
Jamison and Carter were also very well in this game and knew that this was a very important game and were trying their best to help the Tar Heels team in the attack, so Jake was more confident to get the victory.
So the other day came the game day of the 1998 NCAA tournament final, the players were more rested and very confident for this game that would be very important for all of them.