North Carolina never led.
Miami jumped out to a 15-8 lead, forcing UNC into 14 first half turnovers and aggravating Roy Williams to the point that the Tar Heel head coach put in five walkons for a few possessions midway through the first half.
Simply put, it was ugly. Miami was up 31-22 at the half and pushed that lead to 53-34 with 9:56 left on the clock. That’s when it all started to come unglued.
North Carolina caught fire from beyond the arc and Miami, well, collapsed. Over the last nine minutes, the Hurricanes were 1-13 from the floor. They turned the ball over four times. After UNC had tied the game at 59 for the first time since it was 7-7, Miami proceeded to throw the ball out of bounds, setting up an exciting final possession for the Heels:
The Heels survive and advance to face the winner of Clemson and Boston College, leaving open the possibility that they can capture a one seed on Sunday.
For Miami, this trip to the NCAA Tournament epitomizes this team and, perhaps, the program under Frank Haith. Yesterday, the Canes came back from 10 down in the final forty seconds to knock of Virginia after scoring just 43 points in the first 39:20 of the game.
Today, they blew a 19 point lead in the final ten minutes of the game against UNC with a dizzying display of offensive ineptitude.
The talent is there, but the execution, the chemistry, and the confidence is missing.