No one fouled, Simms made the shot, and North Carolina went on to lose the game.
“I’ve had some great moments as a coach, and I’d say right now this is my lowest one,” Williams said, verging on tears. “Losing this game was my fault. I told them if I die tomorrow, or 20 years from now, that will be the biggest regret I have in 32 years as a coach, cause these kids really need to win and their coach let them down today.”
Aamir Simms had 20 points for Clemson, who trailed by 10 points with about two minutes left in regulation before making a frantic comeback.
Brandon Robinson had a career-best 27 points for the Tar Heels, who were 59-0 all-time in the series in Chapel Hill for the longest home winning streak against one opponent in NCAA history.
The losing streak in Chapel Hill started in 1926.
Both teams was bombing it from beyond the arc on the evening. The Tigers (8-7 overall, 2-3 ACC) knocked down 12-of-31 treys for the day, and the Tarheels (8-8, 1-4) went 6-of-26 from downtown. Clemson shot 43.3 percent from the floor while UNC went 42.4 percent from the field.
Both teams grabbed down 39 boards, and Clemson shot 69.2 from the charity stripe line as compared to North Carolina’s 70-percent shooting mark at the line. Turnovers proved to be critical down the stretch, and the Tigers had 14 points off 11 Tar Heel turnovers which was the difference in the contest.
Tevin Mack, who scored 10 of his 17 points in the first half, also drained a trio of treys. John Newman III connected on two 3-point shots en route to collecting a career-best 17 points, six boards. North Carolina’s Armando Bacot had 21 points.
Clemson made a late-game comeback to force overtime and, after never sporting a lead in regulation, outscored North Carolina 9-6 in the extra period.
The Tar Heels and the Tigers both went 4-for-12 from behind the arc in the first half. Clemson’s Al-Amir Dawes sank a late 3-pointer to beat the buzzer at the end of the first half. UNC led 39-29 at the break and control the pace of the game for the majority of the second half.
Clemson made some adjustments and ramped up on the defensive pressure and pulled off the comeback in the final two minutes of the second half. Clemson went on a 12-2 run after falling down 68-58 at the 2:08 mark, the Tigers forced three turnovers in the last two minutes of regulation. Nine of those 12 points were scored by Simms, who made a game-tying trey with 12 seconds left.
The Tigers owned the paint in overtime, with backdoor cuts and wide-open layups leading Clemson to the historic victory.