Rick Pitino finally added a win over North Carolina to his considerable resume on Saturday and it came in sweet fashion.
No. 10 Louisville rallied from an 18-point deficit in the second half and won 78-68 in overtime behind a monster effort from forward Montrezl Harrell who scored 22 points and snagged 15 rebounds. Terry Rozier also scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Harrell’s day included an impressive ally-oop slam off a fast break during the Cardinals’ rally. He caught the ball with one hand high and in back of him and threw it down.
Pitino was 0-6 against the Tar Heels in his career, including a frustrating loss earlier this season in which the Cardinals gave up a 13-point lead to lose in Chapel Hill. Louisville stormed back from 18 down Saturday by grabbing 22 offensive rebounds leading to second-chance points. Harrell provided eight of those offensive rebounds.
The Cardinals fell behind by 11 at halftime by allowing the Tar Heels to beat them in transition. They clamped down in the second half and allowed a total of 32 points in the second half and overtime after giving up 36 in the first half.
Louisville attacked the basket and got to the foul line, shooting 44 free throws. It was the most free throws for a North Carolina opponent since Roy Williams became coach.
The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Tar Heels that started with that comeback win over Louisville. North Carolina committed 19 turnovers, including eight in one stretch of the second half contributing to the Louisville comeback.
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