Belmont vs North Carolina

Mann's big 3 helps Belmont stun No. 12 North Carolina


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- J.J. Mann had rehearsed hitting a game-winning shot so many times before. When the ball came his way late against No. 12 North Carolina, the senior didn't squander the chance to give Belmont a stunning road upset.

The senior hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 13.1 seconds left, helping the Bruins beat the Tar Heels 83-80 on Sunday in the Hall of Fame Tipoff.

Mann finished with a career-best 28 points, with the last basket giving the Bruins an 81-80 lead. Then, after a missed shot from UNC's J.P. Tokoto, Caleb Chowbay scored on a breakaway layup with 0.2 seconds left that sent Belmont players rushing onto the court to celebrate at the horn.

"There aren't great victories unless you beat great programs," longtime Belmont coach Rick Byrd said. "... It's a big moment right now for us."

Indeed, especially considering it appeared the Bruins (3-1) would be left lamenting one that got away.

Belmont had frustrated North Carolina by playing with poise and knocking down outside shots, leading by 11 points early in the second half. Then the Tar Heels (2-1) rallied and led by eight with 2 minutes left, only to see Mann and the Bruins push back.

With the Bruins trailing by two in the final 20 seconds, Reece Chamberlain brought the ball upcourt and flipped it to Mann, who launched the straightaway shot over Tokoto.

He said he was "about 99 percent sure it was going in" before it dropped through the net.

"It's something you dream about as a kid, and something that you pretend this summer in the gym," Mann said. "You're saying, `All right, game winner against North Carolina, here you go.' And then it happens. It's just unbelievable."

Belmont is a consistently successful Ohio Valley Conference program with six NCAA tournament trips in eight years. Now the Bruins have their first win against a Top 25 opponent since beating No. 23 Missouri in December 2003.

It was North Carolina's first nonconference home loss since falling to Illinois in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge eight years ago.

Drew Windler, who rebounded Tokoto's late miss and threw it ahead for Chowbray's layup, said he had 28 congratulatory text messages and countless other Twitter messages waiting by the time he got on the team bus.

"It's a historical win for Belmont," Windler said. "We don't have a lot of wins over AP Top 25 teams. So anytime you can go into a Top 25 team's place, especially a place like North Carolina -- storied program -- and do just enough to beat a good team, that's great. That's something to hang your hats on."

Mann hit five 3-pointers and added nine rebounds to lead the Bruins, who hit 15 of 37 3s to match their three-game season total for made 3-pointers coming in.

Windler scored 16 points and hit four 3s of his own for the Bruins, who shot 45 percent and hit 20 of 22 free throws.

The free throws were a big factor considering the Tar Heels -- playing yet again without leading scorer P.J. Hairston and senior guard Leslie McDonald due to NCAA eligibility concerns -- couldn't make their own.

UNC shot 48 percent and scored 20 second-chance points, but finished 22-for-48 (46 percent) from the foul line. That included a woeful 9-for-28 in the first half as Belmont took a 41-34 lead at the break.

"I don't know," sophomore Brice Johnson said of the free-throw struggles. "That hurt. We should've made free throws. ... Make at least 10 of those we win the game. We just have to concentrate, just take our time."

North Carolina erased the deficit with a 14-0 second-half run, holding the Bruins to one field goal over a 10-minute span. But after the Tar Heels had pushed ahead 73-65 on Marcus Paige's driving basket with 3:46 left, Mann and the Bruins pushed back.

Mann knocked down a 3 to cut the deficit to 78-75 with 1:02 left, then followed with another 8 seconds later to cut the deficit to 80-78.

The Tar Heels had a chance to make it a two-possession game again, but Paige lost the ball on a dribble drive with 19.9 seconds left, leading to a jump ball that set up Mann's final shot.

James Michael McAdoo scored a career-high 27 points and had 13 rebounds to lead the Tar Heels, while Paige finished with 17 points.

"(Byrd) is a good friend and a really good coach, and I'm happy for him," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "But I love those kids in my locker room and their coach let them down today. That's about it."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Belmont's J.J. Mann finishes with a career-high 28 points, giving Belmont a huge lift against North Carolina. (USATSI)
Belmont's J.J. Mann finishes with a career-high 28 points, giving Belmont a huge lift against North Carolina. (USATSI)
Belmont (3-1) «414283
North Carolina #12 (2-1)344680
BELMONT:J. Mann 28 Pts
BELMONT:J. Mann 9 Reb
BELMONT:R. Chamberlain 6 Ast
UNC:J. McAdoo 27 Pts
UNC:J. McAdoo 13 Reb
UNC:M. Paige 5 Ast

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BelmontNorth Carolina
J.J. Mann
James Michael McAdoo
Belmont Bruins
J. Mann, G-F398-217-793328
C. Bradshaw, G292-51-25217
R. Chamberlain, G262-64-42639
D. Windler, F245-72-212316
B. Jenkins, F190-02-21142
C. Chowbay, G183-62-20339
N. Smith, F130-12-21032
J. Laidig, G102-30-01036
H. Mobley, G-F70-00-02010
E. Bradds, G-F60-00-00040
S. Turner, G50-20-01000
C. Lang, C42-20-11034
T. Barnette, GDid Not Play
T. Hadden, CDid Not Play
J. Lester, FDid Not Play
A. Luke, GDid Not Play
B. Sampson, GDid Not Play
Totals 24-5320-2224173183
North Carolina Tar Heels
J. McAdoo, F368-1711-19131327
M. Paige, G366-134-505217
J. Tokoto, F282-74-169318
N. Britt, G211-31-25044
J. James, F112-30-03014
L. Davis, G250-10-00010
B. Johnson, F226-72-592314
K. Meeks, F123-60-14006
J. Simmons, F50-10-00020
D. Hubert, F20-00-01020
I. Hicks, F20-00-00000
L. McDonald, GDid Not Play
P. Hairston, GDid Not Play
J. Manor, FDid Not Play
W. Moody, GDid Not Play
D. Robinson, FDid Not Play
Totals 28-5822-4844111980
Ohio Valley
EastConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Tenn. Tech0-05-187
Jax. State0-04-1149
Tenn. St.0-02-2143
Eastern Ky.0-02-3263
Morehead St.0-01-3246
WestConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Murray St.0-02-1236
Austin Peay0-02-3289
SE Missouri St.0-02-3204
Eastern Ill.0-01-3179
UT Martin0-01-4258

TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Notre Dame0-06-033
Florida St.0-04-091
Miami (Fla.)0-04-068
N. Carolina0-04-038
Boston College0-05-1128
NC State0-05-166
Va. Tech0-04-1117
Georgia Tech0-02-1112
Wake Forest0-01-4291
Other games
IAST 83 Final
ND 70
BU 60 Final
ULL 68 Final
MICH 70 Final
CHSO 93 Final
NMEX 109
RMOR 49 Final
UK 87
OAK 67 Final