UNC vs. Notre Dame score: Heartbreak continues for Tar Heels as Irish rally late for victory

North Carolina continues to find ways to lose close games in heartbreaking fashion. On Monday night, that meant blowing a 15-point lead over the final nine minutes and falling on the road to Notre Dame 77-76.

Nate Laszewski hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 2.4 seconds remaining on the game clock, courtesy of a Rex Pflueger offensive rebound, and Brandon Robinson’s half-court heave at the final buzzer fell short for UNC as the Fighting Irish escaped with a dramatic win. It was North Carolina’s sixth loss in a row. Four of those have come down to the final possession, including Saturday’s last-second loss to Virginia. 

The Tar Heels (10-16, 3-12) appeared to be playing their best basketball in weeks on Monday as they took a 62-47 lead with 9:09 remaining. But Notre Dame, led on the night by 20 points from Prentiss Hubb, got hot and scored 30 points over the game’s final nine minutes to claim a key victory, keeping its NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

The Fighting Irish (16-10, 7-8 ACC) play four of their final five regular season games against teams that are currently below .500 in the ACC standings. They will likely need to finish strong the rest of the way in order to snap a two-year NCAA Tournament drought.

For North Carolina, the loss assured that the preseason No. 9 Tar Heels will end the regular season with a losing record. Point guard Cole Anthony led the team with 23 points on Monday and has been impressive since his return from knee surgery. But the star freshman has been unable to lift the fortunes of a squad that coach Roy Williams referred to earlier this season as the “least gifted team I’ve ever coached”

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