Marion native Marcus Paige refused to let the Syracuse Orangemen come back down the stretch, as he led North Carolina to Monday night's National Championship game. It won't be Marcus' first title game, though.

Paige, who played high school basketball at Linn-Mar, had 13 points to go along with three rebounds and two assists in North Carolina's 83-66 win over Syracuse.

Marcus led Linn-Mar to the 2011 Class 4A Boys State Basketball title and played in the state tournament all four years during his high school career. Monday night, Marcus plays for the biggest prize of his life... the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.

Marcus becomes the first metro player to compete in a national title game since fellow former Linn-Mar prep Kiah Stokes, who won three national championships during her career at Connecticut.

Monday night's game pits two red-hot teams against one another. The Tar Heels and Villanova, who beat Iowa in the second round. Game time is 8:19 (Iowa time) on TBS. Marcus will have tens of thousands of Iowans rooting him on Monday evening. Myself included.

[via TBS]