Alabama beats UNC in four overtimes

The North Carolina Tar Heels and Alabama Crimson Tide played an early season game Sunday that belonged in March Madness.

This game turned into an endurance slog, as the two teams battled through four overtimes in the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Oregon. No. 18 Alabama finally prevailed, 103-101, against No. 1 North Carolina.

Four overtimes is exceptionally rare. How rare? It’s only the second game in NCAA history between two top-20 teams to reach four overtimes. Syracuse defeated UConn in six overtimes in the 2009 Big East Tournament.

Sooner or later, this had to end, and it finally did. The Tar Heels were undone by a turnover on an inbounds pass in the final seconds of the fourth OT. They had a chance to win at the buzzer but missed on a long jumper.


The basketball world watched in wonder/amazement/amusement as the two teams battled through one OT after another. Color analyst Bill Walton seemed particularly amused by the game in the late going.

The rest of basketball Twitter also seemed entertained.

“That UNC and Alabama game was stressful and I don’t even like the teams,” tweeted one fan.

The Tar Heels will drop like a rock out of the No. 1 spot after losing to Iowa State Friday and then Alabama Sunday.

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.