#9 North Carolina Tar Heels Upset by Miami Hurricanes: Greatest Regular Season Game Ever?


To paraphrase His Airness Michael Jordan, the ceiling was truly the roof. The #9 North Carolina Tar Heels hosted the unranked Miami Hurricanes on Senior Day (which this year also fell on James Worthy’s birthday), and the result was as wild and as memorable as one you could imagine.

It was the final home game for a quartet of seniors who have already won a national title, and three Final Four weekend games. It’s a group with one final March Madness run coming up, and the outcome last night was very reminiscent of the 2016 national title game.

Take a look:

One of the four senior Tar Heels, Joel Berry grabbed the spotlight on this night, leading the game with 31 points and hitting a deep and clutch three-pointer with just over four seconds to go. The cold blooded triple capped a massive comeback, one in which the Heels were down more than double digits for much of the second half. In fact, UNC had just a 10.7% win probability inside the final ten seconds before Berry knocked down the trifecta.

Hope lasted like Hicks in the White House, as Miami’s Ja’Quan Newton hit a running 30-footer on the very next possession at the horn to end the thriller. Newton was just past half court, inserting a dagger into the hearts of Tar Heels fans right at the exact moment that they had just begun to regain hope.

Or to put it another way, watch the footage again set to the crescendo build in the theme from “Titanic,” (Celine Dion’s “My heart will go on”:

Pretty well encapsulates it, doesn’t it?

Yes, this ending was strikingly similar to the 2016 national title game, when North Carolina’s Marcus Paige hit a game tying trey with six seconds to go. Only to see Villanova’s Kris Jenkins dagger a three pointer with just one second remaining. Nova beat Carolina by a final score of 77-74.

Of course we all remember that, because March Madness remains etched in our brains, greatly overshadowing the regular season. That’s the nature of college hoops- most people gloss over the everything else but the NCAA Tournament. Which is rather sad, because amazing, transcendent clashes like this go overlooked.

Was this the greatest regular season college hoops game of all time?

If not, what would be?

Let us know in the comments section below. One thing is for sure- it was certainly the perfect setting to play the greatest regular season game of all time. The Dean Smith Center (the Dean Dome) is a place where everything about the game, the venue, the fans and the atmosphere is professional.

You can’t go see a Tar Heels game in ACC play and call this an amateur sport.

north carolina

Although this was a huge setback for the Tar Heels, bigger and better things are still ahead.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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