North Carolina’s 82-game winning streak at home against non-conference, unranked foes is over.
Belmont’s JJ Mann (28 points) made this 3-pointer with :14 left and the Tar Heels collapsed amid a slew of turnovers and bricked free throws, resulting in the biggest upset of the young season: Belmont 83, North Carolina 80.
The Tar Heels, 14.5-point favorites, trailed for much of the game, but led by eight with 3:16 to play, and seemingly were in control of the game. But Belmont quickly got hot, and four of its last five baskets were three pointers. Meanwhile, UNC freshman Marcus Paige turned the ball over three times, and UNC’s free throws misses (a staggering 26 misses from the line!) caught up with them. When you shoot just 45 percent from the free throw line, and the opponent makes 15 three-pointers, yes, you’re going to be in some trouble.
UNC was without last year’s leading scorer, PJ Hairston, who is still suspended for his trouble-ridden offseason.