Defending NCAA Champ Baylor out, despite epic come-back

Baylor, the reigning NCAA Tournament champion, is the first No. 1 seed to fall in this year’s Big Dance.

No. 8 seed North Carolina knocked off No. 1 seed Baylor 93-86 in overtime after Baylor made a run at the biggest comeback ever from a second-half deficit in an NCAA Tournament game.

North Carolina led the reigning national champions by as many as 25 points, and that was the advantage the Tar Heels held with 10:08 left in the second half when UNC’s Brady Manek was ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul when he elbowed Jeremy Sochan in the face. Manek led all scorers with 26 points on just 13 shots when he left the court.

Baylor quickly ripped off a 20-4 run — aided by North Carolina point guard Caleb Love fouling out as well — and was able to apply pressure thanks to Adam Flagler ripping off a huge second half. The Bears continued to hound the Tar Heels, with James Akinjo tying the game at 80 with an and-one with 15.8 seconds left. RJ Davis’ attempt to tie the game in regulation bounced off the rim.

Baylor closed the final 10:08 of the first half on a 38-13 run.

In overtime, the two teams stayed close until Davis dropped in a left-handed layup and was fouled making the free throw for a six-point lead. He finished with a game-high 30 points, including 17 in the first half as North Carolina built its original lead.

Defending Champ Baylor out, despite epic come-back

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