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HomeSportsBasketballVillanova upends No. 14 North Carolina in Bahamas

Villanova upends No. 14 North Carolina in Bahamas


A game between North Carolina and Villanova once again came down to the wire.

In the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis, Mark Armstrong’s pair of free throws with 11 seconds left in overtime proved to be the difference as the Wildcats took down the No. 14 Tar Heels, 83-81 at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Armstrong scored 10 points for the Wildcats (5-1), but the club was really powered by Eric Dixon’s 34 points and 10 rebounds. Justin Moore added 16 points as Villanova handed the Tar Heels (4-1) their first loss.

For North Carolina, RJ Davis had 23 points, Harrison Ingram scored 20 and Cormac Ryan — who was helped off the floor with an apparent foot injury late in overtime — tallied 18. Armando Bacot grabbed 18 rebounds and scored eight points.

Villanova advanced to face Memphis in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game. North Carolina will play No. 20 Arkansas in the third-place game.

In the 2016 national championship game, Villanova famously beat North Carolina 77-74 on Kris Jenkins’ buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

After the Wildcats led briefly midway through the first half, the Tar Heels used a 13-0 run to grab a nine-point lead. Ryan scored seven of his points in that stretch.

Villanova battled back though, using a 14-4 run to take another brief lead until Davis swished a 3-pointer just before halftime. Dixon scored eight points during the Wildcats’ surge.

In the second half — after Davis got clobbered in traffic while attempting a layup — both teams picked up technical fouls as Ingram and TJ Bamba mixed things up. After the technicals, North Carolina went on an 11-4 run to build another nine-point lead. Davis powered the run this time, knocking down two 3-pointers and dishing out an assist.

Villanova held a three-point lead late in regulation, but a 3-pointer from Ryan with 34 seconds left tied the game up. Dixon and Davis both missed go-ahead shots in the final moments of regulation.

Villanova won despite shooting worse from the floor — 38.3 percent to the Tar Heels’ 43.1 percent. The Wildcats also had just five assists and nine turnovers.

–Field Level Media

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