It was weird, it was wild, at times it was ugly, but at no point could you take your eyes off it.
The No. 1 seed Baylor Bears were down as many as 25 in the second half, but roared all the way back to tie the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels it with 15 seconds left. But in overtime the Tar Heels found a way to escape with a 93-86 win on Saturday to advance to the Sweet 16 of the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
With North Carolina leading 67-42 in the most dominant performance of March Madness 2022 so far, UNC forward Brady Manek was ejected with 10:06 remaining for an extremely questionable Flagrant 2 foul. It began a cascade of officiating that seemed desperate to keep the game interesting, all pointing towards the Bears being able to whittle away at the lead.
They finally closed the gap in full with two James Akinjo free throws tied it at 80 with 15.8 seconds remaining. But when the meltdown seemed inevitable, the Tar Heels came roaring back in overtime after Flo Thamba and Matthew Mayer were disqualified for their fifth fouls.
Manek had 26 points in just 28 minutes before his sending off, while RJ Davis was terrific with 30 points on 8-17 from the field to give Tar Heels head coach Hubert Davis his first Sweet 16 appearance in his rookie season on the UNC bench.