BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-North Carolina will have to settle for a trip to the Big Apple instead of the Big Dance.
Deon Thompson had 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead the stingy Tar Heels to a 60-55 victory over UAB on Tuesday night in the National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals.
The Tar Heels (19-16) held UAB without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes down the stretch to earn their first trip to the NIT semifinals since 1973. They will face either Virginia Tech or Rhode Island in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“We’re very happy to still be playing another day,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. “The first half we killed ourselves with 11 turnovers. The second half we only had four … and that’s the kind of play that you have to have.”