As CBS highlighted during their post game analysis, the Washington Huskies had about 1.2 seconds left on the clock after North Carolina forward John Henson bobbled a desperation halfcourt shot from senior guard Venoy Overton out of bounds.
Down three points, they were given 0.5 seconds instead and Isaiah Thomas wasn't able to get his feet set behind the 3-point line on another buzzer-beater try and UW's season ended on a disappointing 86-83 loss to UNC in Charlotte.
Certainly that extra second might have helped UW find a better last second shot. Then again, there were questionable decisions even before that led up to the situation in which a desperation shot was needed.
The very fact that there was 1.2 seconds left when Overton's shot went through Henson's hands and out of bounds will draw lingering questions about why he took the shot, although he might have had reason to believe that he could draw a foul. On the possession prior to that, senior forward Justin Holiday was unable to throw an inbounds pass around Henson with the Huskies only down one. Prior to that, Overton took a contested layup in traffic that also fell short against UNC's posts. Two possessions prior to that, Terrence Ross tried to make another acrobatic layup in traffic that fell short.
So perhaps what's most disappointing about this loss from a fan perspective is that UW had chances to win the game and their decision making down the stretch hurt their chances, officiating mistakes aside. And despite characteristically solid defensive performances by seniors Justin Holiday and Venoy Overton, their careers will unfortunately end with questions about decisions they made.
However, a lack of senior poise under pressure is hardly what determined this outcome. Untimely turnovers hurt UW throughout the second half and they continued to struggle keeping North Carolina off the free throw line - UNC got to the line 23 times with Tyler Zeller leading the way with 7-for-7 free throw shooting as part of his game-high 23 points. while forward Harrison Barnes finished with 22 points and big plays on both ends that hurt the Huskies. Freshman point guard Kendall Marshall set a UNC record for assists in a tournament game with 14 in addition to seven free throw attempts of his own.
To Washington's credit, they did an admirable job on the boards against UNC's size with Aziz N'Diaye leading the way with a game-high 11 while Ross led the team in scoring with 19 points. Yet the fact that UW only got to the line seven times in the game while UNC had 10 attempts in the second half just demonstrates UW's difficulty with defending this bigger team today.