With Belmont down 80-72 it looked as if the Tar Heels were going to escape. The Bruins, who had once led by ten in the second half would go home with a nice moral victory but not the win.
It was at this point that JJ Mann put the team on his shoulders and became a hero. Using simple hand off plays from Reece Chambelain, Mann got open two times in a row splashing both threes. The lead was cut to two.
The Bruins then forced a jump ball and with the possession arrow pointing in their favor, had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead. Of course, they chose the latter.
Once again, Chamberlain handed it off to Mann. One, would think that a top 15 team would not get bitten by the same play three times in a row. Yet, somehow Mann was open again, and yet again drained another three. His third consecutive and Belmont now lead by one with under 15 seconds left.
North Carolina had a chance in the final seconds to win it but J.P. Tokoto's jumper missed, Drew Windler got the rebound threw an outlet to Caleb Chowbay who layed it in to seal the victory.
Mann finished with a game high 28 points. Drew Windler followed with 16 points, 12 of which came off of three pointers.
Belmont nearly came back against Richmond, came all the way back to beat Indiana State and once again come back from eight down to beat North Carolina on the road.
Yes, UNC underestimated Belmont, but in my opinion, this was no fluke win. The Bruins, have shown us they are a tough team to put away. At any moment they can drop a handful of threes and then suddenly, they've pulled within striking distance or pulled away.
They will certainly be more analysis of this game throughout the week.