UNC Basketball: Tar Heels cant weather the storm against Miami

CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 27: Ja'Quan Newton /

Miami Hurricanes hit a miracle shot at the buzzer to ruin Senior Night for Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson while also ending the Tar Heels six-game win streak.

Senior Night.

Some years it is awesome, some years it hurts. This was one of those years it hurt.

In a game that was very reminiscent of the Villanova  National Championship game, UNC fought back from 16 down to tie it with 4.1 seconds to go only for Jaquan Newton hit a dagger of a three at the buzzer to ruin the game for seniors Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson.

So what happened in the heart-breaking 91-88 loss to the Hurricanes?

The Game

North Carolina started the first half as it always does on Senior Night with all their seniors starting. This meant Aaron Rohlman and Kane Ma got to start. It is something pretty much only UNC does and it is one of the coolest things in all of college sports.

The Tar Heels started off strong breaking out to an 18-10 lead. However, that’s when Miami hit them. The Canes went on an 18-3 run and by halftime, they led by eight, thanks to a 6-10 performance from behind the arc.

The Tar Heels didn’t help matters but turning the ball over seven times in the first half, three by Seventh Woods. Luckily they got some strong play from Luke Maye and Cam Johnson who combined for 21 points and eight rebounds to keep the Tar Heels close.

In the second half, Miami came out hot and built their lead up to 16. UNC fought back though behind the play of the seniors Berry and Pinson. Pinson finished with a double-double with 12 points and 11 assists.

CHAPEL HILL, NC – FEBRUARY 27: Chris Lykes /

Meanwhile Berry scored 12 points in the last four minutes, including what looked like an amazing game-tying three-pointer with four seconds remaining.

However, it was a different senior’s night.

Newton scored the last seven points including going 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Newton came into the game shooting 60 percent from behind the line but hit all four free throws like he was shooting 90 percent.

In fact, the line is where the Canes won it. The team entered tonight the ACC’s worst and one of the nation’s worst free throw shooting teams. They finished 12-of-13 from the line, while UNC went 13-20 with big misses from Berry and Johnson.

Player of the Game

Joel Berry II. The Senior not only led the team back, but also tied a career high with 31 points. He also had three assists, three steals, two boards, and a block in his last game at the Dean Dome.

Notable Stat

6137. That’s the total number of minutes Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson have given the Tar Heels so far. During those minutes they have 2,396 points, 862 rebounds, 799 assists, and 238 steals.

They have also been part of 114 wins which includes 13 tournament wins, two final fours and a national title, plus whatever else the Tar Heels accomplish this season. They are the epitome of what college basketball is amongst a world of one-and-done.

What’s Next

Up next for North Carolina is a road rematch with arch rival Duke. The Tar Heels now need to beat Duke just to get the double bye for the ACC tournament next week.