Chapel hill, N.C. • J.J. Mann had rehearsed hitting a game-winning shot so many times before. When the ball came his way late against No. 12 North Carolina, the senior didn't squander the chance to give Belmont a stunning road upset.
The senior hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 13.1 seconds left, helping the Bruins beat the Tar Heels 83-80 on Sunday in the Hall of Fame Tipoff.
Mann finished with a career-best 28 points, with the last basket giving the Bruins an 81-80 lead. Then, after a missed shot from UNC's J.P. Tokoto, Caleb Chowbay scored on a breakaway layup with 0.2 seconds left that sent Belmont players rushing onto the court to celebrate at the horn.
"There aren't great victories unless you beat great programs," longtime Belmont coach Rick Byrd said. "... It's a big moment right now for us."
Indeed, especially considering it appeared the Bruins (3-1) would be left lamenting one that got away.
Belmont had frustrated North Carolina by playing with poise and knocking down outside shots, leading by 11 points early in the second half. Then the Tar Heels (2-1) rallied and led by eight with 2Â½ minutes left, only to see Mann and the Bruins push back.
With the Bruins trailing by two in the final 20 seconds, Reece Chamberlain brought the ball upcourt and flipped it to Mann, who launched the straightaway shot over Tokoto.
He said he was "about 99 percent sure it was going in" before it dropped through the net.
"It's something you dream about as a kid, and something that you pretend this summer in the gym," Mann said. "You're saying, 'All right, game winner against North Carolina, here you go.' And then it happens. It's just unbelievable."
Iowa State 77, No. 7 Michigan 70 • In Ames, Iowa, Melvin Ejim scored 22 points and Iowa State spoiled Michigan star Mitch McGary's season debut. Naz Long added 16 for the Cyclones (3-0), who held McGary to just one point in the second half. McGary, a preseason first-team All-American who missed two games with a lower back injury, finished with nine points and six rebounds.