After North Carolina's Joel Berry II hit a tough three to tie the game with 4.1 seconds left, Ja'Quan Newton pushed the ball back upcourt and, off his left foot, heaved a 30-footer at the horn.
The second half started the same way the first half ended for North Carolina: very poorly. Especially hurtful were UNC's 13 three-pointers.
But Newton had the answer, and the Canes had an upset.
The 2015-16 season was a different story.
After the game, even Newton was impressed with himself.
Nine seconds that were eerily reminiscent of another heartbreaking Heels loss that doesn't need mentioning. He went 4-8 from deep, dished out four assists and scored a team-high 18 points, one off his career best. Pinson would be forced to sit until January, but upon his return, he made his presence felt. The problem is, I think the Tar Heels expected themselves to romp, too.
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Suddenly, the visitors held a commanding 28-21 lead.
The Apopka, Florida native sprained his right ankle in UNC's NCAA Tournament opener against Texas Southern. Berry stepped up first, and apologetically delivered his first line. Newton hit four in the final minute, Anthony Lawrence made a pair with 1:35 left to push the lead back to 3. Berry's status was questionable for the National Semifinal against OR, as his ankle had swollen and gotten much worse.
There are sure to be a few tears when UNC seniors Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson make speeches after their final home game on Tuesday night. Since that game, Duke has tightened up considerably, only surrendering 55.5 points per contest, but all its opponents pale in comparison to the Tar Heels on the offensive end-North Carolina ranks second in the conference in adjusted offensive efficiency, trailing just the Blue Devils in the KenPom.com metric. The Heels are averaging 83.4 points per game on offense while allowing 73.4 per game on defense. His handsome assist late in the game to Justin Jackson was the play that put UNC ahead for good. This from the point guard who would be the Most Outstanding Player of the 2017 Final Four, leading his team to a championship a year after heartbreak, on two bad ankles. Oh, and he accomplished all of this on TWO bad ankles.
"I told them they've really made it a lot more hard now", Williams said after the game.
It felt nearly unfair that Berry and Pinson had to speak after losing in such a manner.
Thus, their leadership skills were tested. "It had gone from eight to fourteen, so it was ugly, and I was just trying to get them to calm down".