PORTLAND, Ore. (Nov. 27) —— Mark Sears scored 24 points, and No. 18 Alabama beat the No. 1 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels 103-101 in a four-overtime thriller on Sunday in the third-place game of the 2022 Phil Knight Invitational tournament.
Sears, who made seven 3-pointers and shot 8-for-13 from the field overall, also had five rebounds and five assists for the Crimson Tide (6-1), who were handing North Carolina a second straight loss. Read more: Zach Edey records double-double, No. 24 Purdue upsets No. 8 Duke for Phil Knight Legacy title
“That was a fun one! I don’t know if I have been involved in a four-overtime game before, I was losing track of how many overtimes we were in at the end but a lot of credit to our guys, we showed a lot of character there and we could have folded,” said Bama head coach Nate Oats.
Jahvon Quinerly added 21 points off the bench to go with eight assists, six rebounds and three steals, while Charles Bediako finished with 14 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks, for Alabama, which was beating an AP top-ranked team for the first time since upsetting Stanford in the 2004 NCAA Tournament.
Brandon Miller scored 14 points and seven rebounds, Noah Gurley contributed 13 points and six boards and Jaden Bradley supported with 10 points for the Crimson Tide, who shot 42.1% (16 for 38) from 3-pointers and edged North Carolina 58-54 in rebounding.
Caleb Love poured in 34 points, with nine rebounds, four assists and three steals to lead the Tar Heels (5-2) who could fall out of the top 10 in the next rankings after suffering back-to-back defeats –following the loss to Iowa State in the semifinals of the 2022 Phil Knight Invitational tournament.
Armando Bacot ended with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and R.J. Davis had 19 points and nine rebounds in the second four-overtime game in North Carolina history. The other was a victory over Tulane in 1976.
Meanwhile, Alabama was playing a quadruple overtime game for the third time in program history, –winning each of the previous three contests.
Alabama and North Carolina finish at 77 all at the end of regulation to start the first overtime play and entered the fourth overtime period tied at 96. Bediako gave the Crimson Tide the lead for good on a layup with 26 seconds remaining in the quadruple-overtime section and then the SEC side held out for the win.
This victory saw the Crimson Tide bouncing back impressively after the loss to No. 20 UConn in the semifinals of the tournament.
“To come back from being down six in the third overtime, we were tired and both teams like to get up-and-down, and it turned into a halfcourt game for a majority of the end of the game. I thought guys made some timely plays,” said Oats after the game.
“Armando Bacot is obviously good, but I thought Charles matched him pretty well. I give North Carolina a lot of credit, they don’t have much depth and for them to go to four overtimes and go toe-to-toe with us shows a lot.”
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