Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

UNC standing after roller-coaster finish

The Tar Heels’ John Henson, the ex-Sickles star, grins after swatting an inbounds pass toward a teammate in final seconds.

Getty Images

The Tar Heels’ John Henson, the ex-Sickles star, grins after swatting an inbounds pass toward a teammate in final seconds.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina's Roy Williams woke up Sunday morning feeling ill.

The Hall of Fame coach then endured one stomach-turning play after another in a confusing finish that left the Tar Heels in a familiar spot: the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16.

Tyler Zeller had 23 points, Harrison Barnes added 22 and North Carolina survived a closing minute that included numerous controversial calls to beat Washington 86-83. The Tar Heels are into the second weekend for a record 24th time.

"I told the kids to take care of the old man and they did a good job," Williams said. "I feel a heck of a lot better now."

Rallying from deficits of 11 in the first half and five in the second, the second-seeded Tar Heels (28-7) went ahead for good on Barnes' 3-pointer with 4:06 left.

They needed two late free throws from Dexter Strickland and two defensive stops in the final second to advance.

"For our lack of experience," Barnes said, "we make up for that with heart."

The seventh-seeded Huskies (24-11) got within 84-83 on Terrence Ross' 3-pointer with 17.3 seconds left, then North Carolina's Kendall Marshall missed a 1-and-1.

Washington's Venoy Overton missed a runner in the lane, but the ball bounced off North Carolina and out of bounds with 7.4 seconds left. On the inbounds, 6-foot-10 John Henson, the former Sickles standout, knocked away Justin Holiday's pass under the basket. The ball landed in Strickland's hands, and he hit two free throws with 5.4 seconds left.

Moments later, Overton, anticipating a foul, launched a halfcourt shot with about three seconds left that fell well short. Instead of letting the shot go out of bounds, Henson touched the ball on the way down to give the Huskies another chance.

But how much time was left?

Replays with the official game clock superimposed on the screen showed there should have been 1.1 or 1.2 seconds to go, giving Washington more time for a final shot. Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said that his staff asked referees to review how much time should have been left. They stuck with half a second.

"There's always a lag time between the time the play occurs and the whistle is blown and the clock stops," official Doug Shows told a pool reporter. "By rule, the clock stops when the whistle blows. We were asked to check the time and we verified that it was accurate with the standby official and the clock operator."

Needing to hurry, the Huskies then inbounded the ball to Isaiah Thomas, who shot from the corner. Henson needlessly touched the ball just before it would have hit the rim and the Washington bench erupted for a goaltending call. It wouldn't have mattered: Thomas had his foot on the 3-point line.

MARQUETTE 66, SYRACUSE 62: Darius Johnson-Odom's 3-pointer with 27 seconds left snapped a tie in Cleveland and put the 11th-seeded Golden Eagles (22-14) into the Sweet 16 for the first time in eight years. The winning basket was set up by one of 18 turnovers by Marquette's Big East rival, the third-seeded Orange (27-8), which fell to Butler in the Sweet 16 last year as a No. 1 seed.

OHIO ST. 98, GEORGE MASON 66: David Lighty made all seven of his 3-pointers and had 25 points, Jared Sullinger added 18 and the top-seeded Buckeyes (34-2) made 16 3s to dismantle the eighth-seeded Patriots (27-7).

UNC standing after roller-coaster finish 03/20/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 20, 2011 10:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Former Buc Mike Glennon says right things about Bears QB situation


    Mike Glennon's go-to line about being recognized around town since becoming a Bear worked as well as ever, producing laughs.

    Quarterback Mike Glennon, shown last season with the Bucs before signing in the offseason with the Bears, is showing good humor about a looming competition in Chicago. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  2. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021


    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  3. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  5. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.