Davidson led 72-60 with five minutes left in regulation, but Western Carolina closed that gap with a furious rally, slowing down the game by getting to the free-throw line. With 13 seconds left in regulation, Western Carolina still trailed by three until Keaton Cole was fouled on a three-point attempt. He missed that shot but converted all three tries from the stripe. After each team traded turnovers in the final seconds, the game headed to overtime.
Free throws were once again the story in the first overtime period, with Western Carolina scoring six of its eight points from the line. Each team traded three-pointers to open the second overtime period, with Chris Czerapowicz hitting his second long-ball since the end of regulation for Davidson and James Sinclair responding for Western Carolina.
Davidson took the lead for good, though, on Clint Mann's dunk with 1:07 left. Neither team would score the rest of the way, with Cole missing a potential game-winner in the final seconds from several feet beyond the three-point line:
The Catamounts had four starters with at least 18 points: Cole finished with 21 points, Harouna Mutombo and Tawaski King each scored 20 and Trey Sumler added 18. Mutombo, playing in front of his uncle, ex-NBA player Dikembe Mutombo, added seven rebounds, four assists and three steals, while King had 10 rebounds.
With the win, Davidson returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since making three straight trips from 2006 to 2008. They certainly hope this year's trip will be as memorable as their most recent one, when Stephen Curry led the Wildcats all the way to the Elite Eight before losing a heartbreaker to Kansas, 59-57.