It looked like it was going to overtime between the No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels and the Miami Hurricanes on senior night in Chapel Hill. But it was another senior, Miami’s Ja’Quan Newton, who emerged the hero as he buried a three-point shot as the clock expired to give Miami the 91-88 win.
The last seconds of Miami-UNC were absolutely nuts pic.twitter.com/jmyUGG1jJz— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 28, 2018
In a situation that was eerily similar to the ending of the 2016 National Championship game - where Villanova won on a buzzer-beating three after UNC’s Marcus Paige tied the game on a tough three - Berry tied it up with four seconds left on the clock. Miami inbounded the ball and Newton heaved up a prayer, finding pay dirt as the clock hit zeros.
Newton finished with 15 points, with the decisive shot being his only attempted three in the game.
Berry was outstanding, scoring a game-high 31 points on 11-for-17 shooting (5-for-8 from three). Fellow senior Theo Pinson finished with 12 points, and Luke Maye added a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Tar Heels (22-8, 11-6 ACC).
The Hurricanes had five players score in double digits, led by Chris Lykes with 18 points. Lykes, listed at a generous 5’7, shot 50 percent from the field (6-for-12) and 4-for-8 from three.
Miami (21-8, 10-7 ACC) led at the half, 44-37, and ballooned their lead to 16 points with 16:25 left in the second half. North Carolina chipped into Miami’s lead, but were unable to take the lead or tie it up until Berry’s last three.
Both teams shot over 54 percent from the field, with the Hurricanes holding a slight edge in three point shooting at 50 percent to UNC’s 48 percent. The Tar Heels turned it over 13 times in the contest.
If this game is any indication, the ACC tournament next week is going to be lit.
Joel Berry sinks a game-tying three with five seconds to play, but Ja’Quan Newton answers for the win.— Marilyn Payne (@marilyn_payne) February 28, 2018
Berry finishes with 31 points in his last game in the Dean Dome as #UNC falls 91-88 to Miami, Tar Heels drop to 22-8, 11-6 ACC.#wral pic.twitter.com/beOb2ToHj9
The Tar Heels have no time to dwell on the loss as they head to No. 5 Duke for a Saturday night showdown at Cameron Indoor.