At 7 p.m. Monday night, Leslie McDonald danced one last time.
It’s something he hasn’t been able to do lately — at least not on the Smith Center hardwood. After all, it’s difficult to keep his pregame “Jump Around” dancing routine while squatted around the center circle waiting for the opening tip.
But for one more time, McDonald let the rhythm course through him for a few seconds before getting down to business.
“I didn’t make that call,” McDonald said of his decision to dance. “Marcus (Paige) actually yelled it out. He got the whole team to gang up on me and tell me to dance.
“It was weird at first because I hadn’t done it in a long time. The routine is already in my head. It just comes natural.”
No. 14 UNC carried the celebratory mood through the opening 20 minutes of the 63-61 win against Notre Dame (15-16, 6-12 ACC) when it opened up a 14-point halftime lead, but five minutes into the second half, the mood shifted.
UNC (23-7, 13-4) fumbled away a double-digit lead and allowed Notre Dame to claim the lead for brief spurts in the second half.
“I don’t know if it was senior day,” James Michael McAdoo said. “I feel like we did get a little complacent, especially when we went up at halftime with a pretty good and comfortable lead there.”
It wasn’t exactly the senior day sendoff McDonald expected. The Memphis native scored only two field goals — both in the first half — before exiting early with four fouls with six minutes 12 seconds remaining in the game.