Haywood, who had just sent Wake Forest forward Darius Songaila's baseline jumper into the crowd with 35.1 seconds left, began yelling "Not today. Not today."
Thanks to a late defensive surge by North Carolina, Haywood ended up being right.
The top-ranked Tar Heels limited the 19th-ranked Demon Deacons to four makes in their last 16 attempts from the field Tuesday night and escaped from Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum with an 80-74 victory.
UNC (20-2, 10-0 in the ACC) held Wake to just one field goal during a 6-minute, 21-second stretch late in the second half to overcome a five-point deficit with 8:08 remaining.
"When our defense needed to lock in, it locked in pretty good," UNC coach Matt Doherty said.
Haywood put an exclamation point on the Tar Heels' stingy stretch by racing out and rejecting Songaila's jumper with UNC clinging to a 74-69 lead.
Haywood finished with four blocks, 13 points and six assists. He also helped limit Songaila to five points on 2-of-10 shooting.
"We didn't make great decisions on shot selection, and we didn't make our shots," Songaila said.
Wake, which shot 42 percent in the first half, quit making shots once it took a 63-58 lead on a 3-point play by Songaila.