Huskies Insider Blog

North Carolina ends UW season, 86-83

UNC wins it, 86-83.

Desperate -- and early -- desperation heave by Overton misses. With 0.5 left, Thomas fires again at buzzer and misses just short ... but very close to goaltend. Officials rush off court quickly as Huskies scream.

(Updates: Overton said he thought UNC was about to foul him, so he launched it in an attempt to make it a shooting foul and draw the free throws. He obviously felt terrible about that after and said the team would have been better off with him on the bench.)

"I’ve been watching basketball for a long time, so I felt like he was going to try to foul before we got a shot off," Overton said. "I misjudged his reach. I thought he was going to really reach and I got in the air and I had to throw it up."

(Also, the officials told Romar than the goal-tend at the end wouldn't have mattered, because Thomas was inside the 3-point arc.)

"Very hard-fought game," Romar said after. "Carolina is a great basketball team. Our guys fought and did so many things right."

UW led by Terrence Ross, 19; MBA, 14 and 8 boards; Thomas 12 ponts and eight assists, Wilcox 11. N'Diaye had 11 rebounds.

UNC gets 23 from Zeller and 22 from Barnes.

UW shot 45.8, UNC 47 ... but 50 percent in the second half. UW out-rebounded UNC, 40-37. UW was 7-for-7 on free throws, UNC 18-of-23. UW 10 of 19 on 3's, UNC 6-of-12.

"Coach Romar told us that we had a great year and that he had four great years with the seniors," senior Justin Holiday said. "It was a tough way to end it, but I will always have fond memories of my time at Washington."

The Tar Heels will go on to play the Marquette-Syracuse winner in the Sweet 16 in New Jersey.

The Huskies will take a long flight home tonight, and put away the uniforms for another season.

After the game Thomas said he isn't certain yet about whether he will return next season, but he said if he does the team will be very good again and that his unattained goal remains the national championship.

Unfortunately, the game extended a trend of the season where UW proved it could stay with very good teams -- Kentucky, Michigan State, Texas A&M, and now North Carolina -- without quite beating them.

It ends prematurely what I thought projected as the most tournament-ready team of the Lorenzo Romar era. These Huskies seemed to be able to go big or small, score inside or out, play fast or slow. But they stumbled in the middle of the conference season, and that cost them seeding, and that gave them North Carolina in North Carolina in just the second round.

I'll add notes and quotes in new posts above.

5.4 Holiday inbound pass stolen. UNC fouled and hits two. So UW down 86-83 with 5.4 left.

0:7.4 UW possession one point down.

0:17.3Suggs open from three -- crowd groans in advance -- in. UNC, 84-83 with 17.3 left

1:58 Ross picked in open court, then goaltends on the resulting breakaway. UNC, 84-78, and the crowd senses it.

4:02 UNC, 78-76. Bad UW run when they can't afford it. Past three possessions have been Holiday turnover; Thomas turnover; MBA miss rebounded by Gant who got rejected. That led to Barnes 3 that put Heels ahead.

7:27 Even at 69. Thomas checks back in after what was surely his last breather of the game.

10:28 Aziz gets 4th foul. MBA in. UW, 62-60.

11:08 UW, 60-58.

2nd/13:56 Even at 56. Tar Heels had three straight baskets to take lead. Ross layup tied it.

2nd half: ... has begun. Gant starts half in place of N'Diaye.

Winner goes to the Sweet 16. Loser goes home.

Halftime: UW lead peaked at 11 points. Tar Heels came all the way back for brief lead. UW heads into the second half up a point.

Ross leads UW with 12 points. Barnes leads UNC with 14.

UW shooting 45 percent, UNC 44.4 UW 24 rebounds, UNC 20. UW leads points in pain 24-16, second-chance points 12-9, fastbreak points 13-8 and bench points 24-5. Huskies 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) on 3-pointers.

Given stats, it feels dangerous that they're only up one.

1st/7:53 UW, 30-24. UNC answers a bit.

Ross has made a couple of drives that have just drawns gasps from the crowd here.

1st/10:51 UW, 25-15. Huskies make first run of game on back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers by Ross, Ross and Gant. Now Overton drive for two with a foul shot coming up.

13:13 UW, 12-10.

Tipoff: Game has begun. Pregame: Both teams have just come out on the court. No surprise that there are a lot more cheers for UNC. However, there are some Huskies fans here. And the arena does not appear to be sold out... empty seats in the upper deck end zones.

Lineup: The Huskies are going big -- frontcourt and back: N'Diaye, MBA, Holiday Thomas and Suggs.

For UNC: Henson. Barnes, Zeller, Strickland, Marshall.

(Our preview story this morning dealt largely with the size issue.)

Meanwhile, Dawgs wearing black ... same unis they wore while winning the Pac-10 tournament title last weekend.

Good morning: Washington and North Carolina tip off at 9:15 a.m. Pacific Time, the game will be shown on CBS.

The winner goes on to a Sweet 16 date against the winner of No. 11 Marquette vs. No. 3 Syracuse on Friday at Newark, N.C.

The loser goes home.

That's doesn't leave much time, but here's a look at News Tribune coverage leading up to the game. And here's a look at the game and the Tar Heels, from the Charlotte Observer.

We'll keep this post open all day for pregame, in-game, and postgame reports and your comments.

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