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The Daily Tar Heel

Basketball's Seniors\Wrap Up UNC Careers

Basketball's Seniors\Wrap Up UNC Careers

Thirty seconds remained in the Tar Heels' second round NCAA tournament contest against Penn State, but Haywood would have to watch the last half minute of his UNC career from the bench after picking up his fifth foul.

The Tar Heels trailed 80-74, and Haywood realized the finality of the moment. But this wasn't a time to cover his face with a towel and shed tears.

"I was thinking 'just be strong,'" said Haywood, who was disqualified for the first time this season.

"I didn't want to be one of those guys to lose and be on TV crying for five minutes. Even though I wanted to, you just have to suck it up and walk off the court."

Haywood, one of the most scrutinized Tar Heels in recent history, gave a valiant effort in his final game. He scored 13 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked four shots to register his fifth double-double of the season.

Reserve guard Max Owens, also a senior, finished his career in disappointing fashion. He missed all six of his field goal tries in two NCAA games and had two points in a combined 17 minutes.

"It went by fast, but I enjoyed it," Owens said of his four years. "I tried to make the best of it by going hard."

Bersticker to Return for 5th Year

While the roundball futures of Joseph Forte and Julius Peppers are still in doubt -- Peppers said Sunday's loss might have been his last game -- Brian Bersticker said he would return for a fifth season.

Bersticker is on track to graduate in May and plans to attend graduate school. He redshirted last season after suffering a stress fracture in his left foot.

"I've enjoyed my experience here and have the opportunity to play one more year and actually get started on the master's degree in teaching," said Bersticker, who is awaiting word on his application.

The graduate program lasts one year, but Bersticker said the time commitment to basketball would force him to spend two years pursuing the degree.

Super Sunday?

North Carolina entered Sunday's game with an 8-0 record all-time at the Superdome, including wins in the 1982 and 1993 national title games.

But the Tar Heels' success in the dome didn't help them cure their Sunday struggles. UNC lost on each of the last five Sundays.

Penn State Guard Puts Awe Aside

Tension used to fill the Crispin house in Pitman, N.J., when North Carolina and Duke would play.

Penn State senior Joe Crispin grew up pulling for Duke, but sophomore Jon Crispin rooted for UNC. The younger Crispin quickly put aside any feelings of awe Sunday.

"I got a look at their uniforms, and I was like 'Wow, we're playing against North Carolina,'" he said. "But I was like, 'Hold up, we have to win this game.'"

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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