No. 14 North Carolina and Clemson played an exciting, overtime game on Tuesday night, one that North Carolina won as they pulled away in the extra frame, 89-83.
In the handshake line after the game, Clemson head coach Brad Brownell got into a pretty heated argument with Roy Williams, who appeared to be trying to apologize:
It’s unclear what Brownell was so mad about, but it might have had something to do with Kenny Williams, who scored a layup with six seconds left of a game that appeared to be decided and celebrated the bucket. There have also been multiple reports that Brownell was upset that Meeks was yelling at the Clemson bench late in the game, and that combined with the fact that he team had just lost an overtime they could have won against a team that would be a marquee win on their NCAA tournament résumé was too much.
And frankly, Brownell had every reason to be frustrated.
Clemson is a good team this year. They’re probably good enough to be an NCAA tournament team, but that doesn’t guarantee that they’ll get the wins that they need to play in March. North Carolina qualifies as one of those wins, and there’s a very real chance that, at the end of the season, we will point to this game and say, “if only Clemson had pulled that one out.”
Brownell is one of the coaches that was put on every hot seat list entering the season. He can’t afford to not pull out games like this.
It needs to be said here as well that Clemson didn’t blow this game. They had some issues with execution late in the game, but they also got to overtime after Joel Berry II missed a layup at the end of regulation.
And it was Berry that eventually made the difference for UNC. He had 31 points, finishing 12-for-19 from the floor and hitting seven threes. He, too, made some questionable plays down the stretch, but that will happen on the road.
This will be one of those wins on Selection Sunday that will look more impressive than you would think it is based on the fact that it’s Clemson.
Like I said, the Tigers are a good team, and this is a nice way for UNC to bounce back after Saturdday’s loss to Georgia Tech.