A furious comeback effort fell short for the No. 6 North Carolina men's basketball team (5-1), which fell to Michigan (6-0) on Thursday, 73-64, in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
The Tar Heels trailed by as much as 24 in the second half and cut the deficit to single digits late, but it proved too little, too late to prevent the team's first loss of the 2019-20 season.
In the first half, the Wolverines sank five three-pointers and shot 51.7 percent from the field en route to a 39-34 lead at the break. They were led by guard Eli Brooks, who had 10 points in the half, while UNC first-year Cole Anthony had 12 points on 4-9 shooting.
The early stages of the second half saw head coach Juwan Howard's squad rip off a 19-0 run, putting the lead at 60-36 with 11:21 to play. North Carolina's shooting woes were most evident in that stretch; at one point, the Tar Heels were shooting 34 percent from the field for the game and a meager 11 percent from three-point range.
That was when the comeback effort began.
The Tar Heels used buckets from Brandon Huffman, Garrison Brooks, Anthony and Christian Keeling in an 11-0 spurt; later, a Brooks layup sliced the Wolverine lead to eight with 3:13 to go. It seemed a historic comeback could be in the works.
That would be as close as UNC would get, however. With 1:12 left, a Brooks three-pointer for Michigan would prove to be the nail in the coffin.