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The first 1-seed has gone down in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. The defending national champion Baylor Bears took on the 8-seed North Carolina Tar Heels in the second round on Saturday afternoon, and despite the fact that the Bears were able to rally back from 25 points down to force overtime, Carolina managed to compose itself in the extra frame and win, 93-86.

Dang near everything went right for the Heels for the first half-plus of the game. R.J. Davis caught fire over the first 20 minutes, going for 17 points and helping the team as it took a 42-29 lead into the locker room by hitting three after three.

The second half looked primed to be much of the same — Davis and Brady Manek provided a whole heck of a lot of scoring for UNC, while the team’s defense did not let the Bears get much of anything.

And then, midway through the second half, everything changed. Manek, who had 26 points and got whatever he wanted on the offensive end of the floor, was hit with a controversial flagrant two when he elbowed Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan as the two fought for a rebound.

flagrant 2: https://twitter.com/buckets/status/1505241696237461513

The loss of Manek took the wind out of North Carolina’s sails and opened the door ever so slightly. The Bears could not have done a much better job capitalizing — despite trailing by as many as 25 points, Baylor went on a 20-4 run in the immediate aftermath of the ejection and kept turning up the pressure on the Tar Heels bit by bit.

As the pressure turned up from Baylor — and, it must be said, the referees made a number of calls that raised some eyebrows — North Carolina kept crumbling. James Akinjo scored off of a miss, drew a foul, and hit the free throw to cut the lead down to four.

UNC managed to stay afloat and create some separation, but with right around 30 seconds remaining, Sochan banked in a three to make it a one-possession game.

Bacot got fouled after the ensuing inbound, but missed both free throws and opened the door for Baylor to do something special. Akinjo came right down the floor, attacked the rim, made a layup, got fouled, and tied things up at the stripe.

Carolina had a chance to win the game, but opted for an off-the-dribble three from the logo by Davis that barely got the front of the rim, sending the game to overtime. While there, the two teams jostled back-and-forth, and whenever one team looked like it could open up a lead, the other would manage to keep things tight. But then, with less than 90 seconds remaining, Davis hit a circus layup and got an and-one that gave UNC some much-needed breathing room … even if he did follow that up with an extremely weird turnover on the Heels’ next possession.

This mountain provided too steep for the Bears to climb, and as a result, we will not have back-to-back national champions. The Tar Heels will now wait and see if they’ll take on St. Mary’s or UCLA in the Sweet 16.

Source: https://uproxx.com/dimemag/unc-beats-baylor-2022-ncaa-tournament-highlights-videos/

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