The North Carolina Tar Heels got quite a scare in their third round showdown with the Washington Huskies. Down five points in the second half, the Tar Heels went on an 11-2 run moving on to the Sweet 16 for the 24th time in team history.
Terrence Ross scored 19 points and Matt Bryan-Amaning chipped in 14 for Washington (24-11), which was denied a second straight trip to the Sweet 16 in a somewhat controversial finish that may have included a timing error.
The Huskies led for most of the second half and opened a five-point edge at 74-69, but North Carolina came right back with 11 of the next 13 points. Barnes drilled a three-pointer with 4:05 to play, giving the Heels a 78-76 lead, and two free throws by Zeller made it a four-point game.
North Carolina extended the margin to six with two minutes remaining, but Washington got a layup from Bryan-Amaning and a three-pointer by Scott Suggs to make it an 84-83 game with 17 seconds left.
Kendall Marshall then missed the front end of a one-and-one for the Tar Heels, giving Washington a chance to win it. Venoy Overton’s drive was blocked and the ball went out of bounds to the Huskies, but the inbound pass was deflected by John Henson into the hands of Dexter Strickland, who converted both ends of the one-and-one to give North Carolina a three-point edge with 5.4 seconds to play.
Overton took the inbound pass and raced up the floor, but fired up a shot from half-court with two seconds left that came nowhere near the basket. Henson, standing under the hoop, failed to corral the errant shot and the ball went out of bounds with 5/10ths of a second remaining.
Despite replays showing the ball hitting the floor with just over a second to play, the officials never went to the monitor to check the time. Washington’s inbound pass went to Isaiah Thomas in the left corner and his shot — which would have been a two-point effort because he straddled the three-point line — came up short as time expired.
Henson, after guarding the inbound pass, nearly interfered with the shot as it reached the rim.