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No. 1 UNC falls in 4 overtimes to Alabama

The top-ranked Tar Heels have now lost back-to-back games in Portland after Sunday’s wild four-overtime loss to the No. 18 Tide.

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Head coach Nate Oats of the Alabama Crimson Tide

It took four overtimes, but Alabama upset North Carolina on Sunday afternoon at the Phil Knight Invitational. (Soobum Im/Getty Images)

It took 20 extra minutes, but No. 18 Alabama finally knocked off top-ranked North Carolina on Sunday afternoon in Portland.

The Crimson Tide survived a wild battle at the Phil Knight Invitational on Sunday to take their 103-101 quadruple-overtime win over the Tar Heels. The game was the second in NCAA history that had two teams ranked inside the top-20 play at least four overtimes.

It was also Alabama’s first win over a top-ranked team since 2004, and it marked North Carolina’s second straight loss, following Friday’s defeat to Iowa State in the semifinals.

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“That was a fun one,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said, via 247 Sport’s Charlie Potter. “I don’t know if I’ve been involved in a four-overtime game before. I was losing track of how many overtimes we were in there at the end.

“A lot of credit to our guys. They showed a lot of character. We could have folded there.”

After a stalemate through three overtimes, Leaky Black separated the two teams following a long back-and-forth with a 3-pointer from the top of the key. His bucket gave North Carolina a one-point lead with 94 seconds left.

While Alabama big man Charles Bediako answered with an alley-oop on the other end to put the Crimson Tide back on top, he then was called for a very close goaltending on the other end.

Officials reviewed the play and took the call back. Instead, Alabama actually regained possession on an inadvertent whistle and held onto its lead with seconds to go.

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That, though, wasn’t the end of it. The Tar Heels got the ball back immediately after forcing a turnover on the inbounds. But they turned it over themselves and then had to foul, which sent Jaden Bradley to the free-throw line which eventually sealed the two-point win for Alabama.

Mark Sears led Alabama with 24 points in the win and shot 7 of 11 from the 3-point line. He had 14 of his points in the first half, and led the Crimson Tide to a three-point halftime lead. Jahvon Quinerly added 21 points off the bench, and Bediako had 14 points with 16 rebounds.

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Love led North Carolina with a career-high 34 points and nine rebounds while shooting 13-of-36 from the field. Armando Bacot, who missed nearly all of the overtime periods with foul trouble, added 20 points and 10 rebounds.

“I’m disappointed in the final outcome, but can’t be more proud in the way they competed,” North Carolina coach Hubert Davis said, via Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

The Tar Heels’ two straight defeats will drop them from the top spot in the rankings come Monday. Iowa State, behind a huge 31-point night from Caleb Grill, beat them in the semifinals on Friday night.

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Alabama, on the other hand, rallied after Friday’s 15-point loss to the Huskies. The Tide have won two of their past three games — including an 81-70 win over No. 12 Michigan State on Thursday — all of which came against ranked opponents.

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