The UNC basketball program gave us plenty of late-night scares but fortunately pulled off a victory on the road against Syracuse.
It seems like most UNC basketball games have the same storyline.
The Tar Heels get up early and build a lead that seems pretty comfortable. Then, out of nowhere, the opposing team charges back, and we end up in a nail-biting finish.
Well, Tuesday night was once again one of those games.
North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina led by as much as 10 but needed a late push to lead them to a victory over Syracuse on the road.
Before we get to the crazy ending of the game, let’s start from the beginning.
It was a great start for Hubert Davis’ team, as Caleb Love connected on his first three shots from beyond the arc. With Love clicking offensively and the Tar Heels moving the ball well, they took a four-point lead into the half, a lead that felt as if it should be bigger.
Once the second half began, North Carolina showed signs of potentially pulling away. With Jesse Edwards, the ACC’s leading shot blocker, picking up his fourth foul with just over 13 minutes left to play, it seemed destined that the Tar Heels had the advantage.
Well, Judah Mintz and Chris Bell had other plans.
Mintz, the talented freshman guard, took control in the second half, as he made some really good plays to spark to come back. Bell, who was averaging just 6.8 points per game heading into this game, gave the Tar Heels plenty of trouble, as he connected on six of his 9 shots (three from deep) as he finished the night with 15 points.
Let’s fast-forward a bit to the final minutes of play, as the Orange found a way to regain the lead. Mind you, Syracuse led for just one minute and 41 seconds total, most of which came over the final two minutes of play.
Down by two, Pete Nance was fouled and headed to the free-throw line. After making the first shot, the graduate forward missed the second but ultimately made up for it.
In a scramble for the loose ball, Joe Girard attempted to dive for the ball before it landed out of bounds. Girard tipped it back into play right in the area of Nance, who collected the ball and made the basket to give the Tar Heels back the lead.
A scary moment ensued, as RJ Davis took a nasty elbow to the face from a driving Judah Mintz. Davis, who had a few collisions in this game, would exit with what looked like a nose injury.
In what was called a Flagrant 1 on Mintz, Caleb Love made one of two free…