The streak is dead, and UNC killed it.
What once seemed like an impossible outcome finally came to pass when Clemson ended the longest home winning streak against a single opponent in college basketball history. North Carolina, previously 59-0 against the Tigers in Chapel Hill, fell 79-76 in overtime following a late collapse where the Tar Heels shot just 3-16 in the final 5:25 of regulation.
This season may very well end up being the worst of Roy Williams' UNC career, not just for the losses, but the way in which they happened.
Up three points with 12 seconds left to play, North Carolina neglected to foul in order to prevent a 3-point attempt. Williams admitted postgame that he forgot to instruct his team to do so. First-year center Armando Bacot, guarding Aamir Simms, who made the game-tying shot with three seconds left, didn't want to do something he wasn't told to do, and none of his elder teammates instructed him to do otherwise.
No one fouled, Simms made the shot, and North Carolina went on to lose the game.
"I've had some great moments as a coach, and I'd say right now this is my lowest one," Williams said, verging on tears. "Losing this game was my fault. I told them if I die tomorrow, or 20 years from now, that will be the biggest regret I have in 32 years as a coach, cause these kids really need to win and their coach let them down today."
The heartbreak was palpable as the Dean E. Smith Center emptied as soon as Brandon Robinson's last second attempt banged off the side of the rim; the silence so loud as to drown out any murmurs that may have otherwise echoed after a game.
And when it came time to answer for what had just happened on the court? There was emptiness in the eyes of both Williams and his players. How could there be anything else?
"It kinda sucks being a player and hearing that from your coach," said junior guard Andrew Platek about Williams' taking the blame on himself. "... I don't know, I'm exhausted right now. All of the other guys are too, we really played hard and I feel like we tried hard. We just gotta play better."