After No. 2 Kentucky freshman Malik Monk nailed a tough, game-tying three-pointer with 7.5 seconds remaining in regulation of their tilt with No. 1 North Carolina, Wildcats head coach John Calipari considered calling timeout to slow the Tar Heels' game-winning efforts down.
"I probably should have called time out," the coach said. "It entered my mind, but they got that son of a B in so quick, I couldn't get to anybody to do it. I needed to stop that right there."
Instead the Tar Heels raced down the floor, where junior guard Theo Pinson found sophomore big man Luke Maye, who nailed a jumped to send UNC to the Final Four.
WHAT A REGIONAL FINAL BETWEEN UNC AND KENTUCKY!
LUKE MAYE WINS IT AND SENDS UNC TO THE FINAL FOUR!
IT'S MUCH BETTER W/TITANIC MUSIC!
— Titanic Hoops (@TitanicHoops) March 26, 2017
"I just kind of stepped back, and he gave me the ball and I just shot it, and luckily it went in," Maye said after hitting the biggest bucket of the 75-73 victory. "It was a great feeling."
The seesaw finish sent Wildcats through the gauntlet of emotions in mere seconds.
— HLpublicsafety (@HLpublicsafety) March 26, 2017
After their elimination from March Madness, De'Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo—like Monk, freshmen who'll likely be selected in the first round of the upcoming NBA draft—wept next to each other in the locker room.
Freshmen don’t care?
Don’t tell that to Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) March 27, 2017
"That shot is just playing back and forth in my head," Fox said. "It's going to be difficult to get over."