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UMass Stuns N. Carolina in Overtime
From The Associated Press, 11/25/1993
Massachusetts couldn’t hit free throws down the stretch and had to go deep into its thin bench.
All that, however, couldn’t prevent the biggest victory in school history Wednesday night when the No. 19 Minutemen beat No. 1 North Carolina, 91-86, in overtime in the semifinals of the Preseason NIT at New York.
North Carolina (2-1), the defending national champion, was a 15-point favorite.
But Massachusetts hung in and attacked the boards relentlessly behind Lou Roe, who finished with 28 points and 14 rebounds.
“On the way into the building people were telling us to forget it, we couldn’t beat North Carolina. They were laughing at us,” Roe said. “I was getting angry.”
Roe’s free-throw shooting, however, almost keep the Minutemen from winning. He made one of five free throws, including missing the front end of two one-and-ones in the final 6:46 of regulation, but North Carolina had dug itself a hole with foul problems.
North Carolina missed two chances to score in the final seconds of regulation and the overtime was all Massachusetts as it scored the first six points, all from Dana Dingle.
No. 6 Kansas 75, No. 9 Minnesota 71–Richard Scott scored 20 points and Steve Woodberry and Greg Ostertag came up with the big plays down the stretch at New York, sending the Jayhawks (3-0) past the Gophers (2-1).
The Jayhawks seemed in control and led, 50-38, with 15:44 to play. But the Golden Gophers moved in front, 63-62, with 5:32 left.
Ostertag scored eight of Kansas’ next 11 points to help put Minnesota away.
UMass Shocks Carolina
By Richard Finn, The Chicago Tribune, 11/25/1993
NEW YORK — There was March Madness excitement five months early Wednesday night.
Lifted by Mike Williams' clutch three-point shooting, 18th-ranked Massachusetts ambushed top-ranked NCAA champion North Carolina 91-86 in overtime to reach the final of the Preseason NIT at Madison Square Garden.
The Minutemen (3-0) will play for the title Friday against No. 6 Kansas (3-0), which held off Minnesota 75-71. The Gophers (2-1) will meet North Carolina (2-1) in the third-place game.
“We are the big time,” exclaimed Williams as he made his way through the mob of Massachusetts fans who swarmed the court.
Williams' final three-pointer came with 13 seconds left and his team up by one, capping a 17-point effort by the junior guard.
“I've always had confidence in my shot, and I felt it was going in,” said Williams, who also buried a three with :20 left in regulation to force overtime as the Minutemen wiped out an eight-point deficit in the final 4:47.
“This team has an attitude of refusing to lose,” said UMass coach John Calipari.
Louis Roe had 28 points (despite going 6 for 16 from the foul line) and 14 rebounds for the Atlantic 10 champs.
“On the way into the building,” Roe said, “people were telling us to forget it, we couldn't beat North Carolina. They were laughing at us. I was getting angry.”
Roe said he knew Williams would be on target when he saw him fire away with :06 left on the shot clock in OT. “If you leave him open, he'll knock the shot down.”
North Carolina lost 7-foot center Eric Montross on fouls with 6:46 left in regulation and 6-11 Kevin Salvadori with 2:58 left. UMass lost 6-11 freshman center Marcus Camby :16 into OT when he went down with a knee injury and had to be carried off the floor.
“That takes a lot away from the victory,” Calipari said. “We don't know the extent of the injury, but we know he won't play Friday.”
North Carolina jumped to an 11-0 lead, alarming Calipari. “I said, `Oh, my God, we could get beat by 50.' I took a timeout to get them focused and worrying about me instead of the other team.”
In the semifinal opener, Kansas thwarted a spirited rally by the ninth-ranked Gophers.
“This is November, and we'll learn from this,” Minnesota coach Clem Haskins said. “If it was March, we would be concerned.”
Down by 12 just five minutes into the second half, Minnesota charged back to take a 63-62 lead on a three by Townsend Orr with 5:31 left.
“All of a sudden it was a one-point game,” said Kansas coach Roy Williams. “I called a timeout and got the guys back in focus to play Kansas basketball, which is a high percentage shot and challenge their shots. Those last five minutes, we executed very well.”
Six consecutive Kansas points by 7-1, 279-pound Greg Ostertag wiped out Minnesota's last two leads at 66-64 and 68-66.
“I thought we were pretty much in control when we got the lead,” said Orr, who led the Gophers with 16 points.
When Steve Woodberry buried a three with 2:30 left, the Jayhawks led for good 71-68.
Haskins said Lenard was hobbled by a missing toenail on his right foot. “He couldn't push off and couldn't make any sharp cuts.”
The Gophers shot only 37 percent in falling behind 38-30 by halftime.