The North Carolina men’s basketball team had 13.3 seconds to avoid another embarrassing home loss and potentially save its postseason aspirations Monday against Syracuse.
Head coach Hubert Davis instructed the Tar Heels in the huddle to fire up the first open shot to pull them out of their 73-71 deficit.
That shot came to Caleb Love.
The sophomore guard was having a rough night, shooting 3-16 going into that play. But with nine seconds remaining on the game clock, he hoisted a deep 3-pointer with no hesitation.
“As soon as it left my hand, I knew it was good,” Love said.
And he was right. He buried it.
While Syracuse guard Joseph Girard III ruined the St. Louis native's claim to a game winner by converting a contested jumper in the final seconds, Love’s eight points in overtime helped the Tar Heels run away with a much-needed 88-79 victory.
Davis knew Love would be willing to step up when that open shot came.
“There’s very few guys that can make those shots and there’s very few guys that are willing to take those shots in those types of situations,” Davis said. “That’s one of many things that I love about Caleb."