LEXINGTON, KY — With seven seconds left, 6-foot-10 John Henson lifted off the ground for what would be the game-winning jumper against Kentucky.
But just as the ball was released from his hands, Kentucky freshman forward Anthony Davis’ long reach got a piece of Henson’s shot, and took a piece of North Carolina’s heart.
No. 1 Kentucky escaped its biggest scare of the year, beating No. 5 UNC 73-72 at Rupp Arena in one of the best college basketball games this season.
The Wildcats (8-0) led by as many as four points with 1:33 left in the game following two Michael Kidd-Gilchrist free throws. But UNC (6-2) drew within one following a Reggie Bullock 3-pointer from the corner.
UNC led by as many as nine in the first half and six in the second half, but the guard combination of Kidd-Gilchrist, Darius Miller and Doron Lamb proved too much for the Tar Heels as the home team moved away from its bigs and put the ball in the hands of their backcourt.