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. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'


    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.