For one night, he took it all in.
He took in the pregame ceremony featuring his parents, Frank and Twyla, who made the trip from Douglasville, Georgia. He took in the roar of the home crowd when his consecutive 3-pointers put North Carolina up 78-69 on Wake Forest.
He took in that final walk down the bench — hugs and handshakes and daps galore — as he subbed out for one final time at the Smith Center, with 6.9 seconds left in a 93-83 win.
If only it could have lasted a little bit longer for Brandon Robinson, the lone four-year scholarship senior on this UNC roster who scored 18 points on the Senior Night he always felt was so far away until it came.
“This year has been a year of up and downs,” Robinson said. “Having to fight through adversity, fighting through injuries, going through a car accident, not winning, but all in all I’m grateful for every moment I’ve had here.”
North Carolina (13-17, 6-13 ACC) won its third straight game Tuesday in a late-season push it hopes carries over into Saturday’s game at Duke and next week’s ACC Tournament. And the Tar Heels couldn’t have done it without Robinson, who contributed to UNC’s hot-shooting second half and game in general with his 18 points, third to Cole Anthony’s 28 and Garrison Brooks’ 25, and team-high five 3-pointers.
That was actually a point of teasing leading up to the win. Since Robinson returned from an ankle injury four games ago, he’d made just five total 3-pointers. Roommates Brooks and Sterling Manley made sure to jokingly remind Robinson that, on your Senior Night, you’re actually supposed to score.
He did just that, with back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Tar Heels up nine points with five minutes to go in a game they never led by more than 10. His final point in the Smith Center came, ironically, in a situation where UNC has faltered before late: at the free throw line.