UNC vs Ohio State college basketball: Who won? Final score

North Carolina forward Leaky Black and Ohio State forward Zed Key fight for the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the CBS Sports Classic, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

North Carolina forward Leaky Black and Ohio State forward Zed Key fight for the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the CBS Sports Classic, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)


After playing a four overtime game, just one seemed like nothing to North Carolina on Saturday. The Tar Heels, who trailed Ohio State for 32 minutes in regulation, scored the first two baskets of overtime and never looked back in an 89-84 win in the CBS Classic in Madison Square Garden.

Carolina (8-4) rallied from down 11 in the second half and Caleb Love gave it the lead for good when he opened the extra period with a driving layup. The Heels went up two possessions after Armando Bacot rebounded and scored off a Pete Nance miss for an 83-79 lead.

The Buckeyes stayed close and had the ball with a chance to tie it trailing 87-84. But forward Zed Key, whose improbable 3 helped stave off UNC in regulation, was called for a travel violation while being pressured by Bacot at the 3-point line in front of the Buckeyes bench.

Love finished with 22 points and R.J. Davis added 21 as the Heels won their third straight game.

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Julia Nikhinson AP

Though Carolina wants to play through Bacot in the post, that mantra was taken to the extremes as it seemed no one else could score outside of the paint through the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Pete Nance and Davis were a combined 5-for-8 from 3-point range in their win over The Citadel. But against the Buckeyes, they combined to miss their first nine attempts from behind the arc.

Bacot kept the game from getting out of hand, as he powered his way to scoring a game-high 28 points.

As Ohio State worked its way to a 68-58 lead, Carolina was energized by using its full court pressure. The Heels scored 27 points off Ohio State turnovers.

They forced three straight turnovers including a five-second violation that led to a Love 3-pointer.

Carolina’s comeback seemed like it would not be denied on a possession where it had three straight misses, but got three straight rebounds before Davis scored on a putback and was fouled by Zed Key. His three-point play pulled UNC within 69-67 with 4:32 left.

Davis wasn’t done in his return home to play in Madison Square Garden for the first time. After the Heels forced a shot clock violation, Davis, a native New Yorker, tied the game at 72 with a finger roll down the middle of the lane.

Carolina hadn’t led in the game since it was 14-12 with 13:22 left in the first half. But Davis put UNC ahead 75-74 with his first 3-pointer with 1:28 left in the game.

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Julia Nikhinson AP

Ohio State re-gained the lead when forward Zed Key made just his fifth 3-pointer of the season to make it 77-75 with 30 seconds left.

Carolina tied it when Bacot scored off a Love assist in the lane with 17 seconds left.

Brice Sensabaugh then made a basket over Leaky Black’s outstretched arm with two seconds left.

The Heels advanced the ball to halfcourt and called a timeout with 1.2 seconds left. Then the inbounds pass went to Nance, who nailed a turnaround jumper as the buzzer sounded to send the game to overtime.

Bacot picked up his first foul 72 seconds into the game. Hubert Davis was taking no chances the senior forward would get into foul trouble and immediately subbed him out for Puff Johnson.

The smaller lineup seemed to work early on, as the Heels grabbed a 14-10 lead. But the Buckeyes used an 18-2 run to take control of the first half.

Ohio State had its biggest lead after back-to-back 3-pointers made it 34-20. Carolina rallied as Bacot got going offensively. He scored 10 straight of his 16 first half points to pull UNC within six.

But Ohio State, which shot 7-for-15 from behind the arc in the first half, got a 3-pointer at the buzzer from Justice Sueing — who shot 18 percent on the season from 3 — to take a 44-35 lead into halftime.

C.L. Brown covers the University of North Carolina for The News & Observer. Brown brings more than two decades of reporting experience including stints as the beat writer on Indiana University and the University of Louisville. After a long stay at the Louisville Courier-Journal, where he earned an APSE award, he’s had stops at ESPN.com, The Athletic and even tried his hand at running his own website, clbrownhoops.com.

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