CHAPEL HILL, N.C. —
UNC tied the game at 77 on Kennedy Meeks’ three-point play with 2:14 left, but Felix knocked down a tough shot in the lane over Paige with 1:59 left. Two possessions later, he buried a 3-pointer over Paige to push the lead to 82-77 with 1:06 left.
The Tar Heels clawed within 84-80 on two free throws from Paige with 25.2 seconds left, then Paige followed with a 3 with 12.1 seconds to go to close the deficit to one.
UNC put Holland on the line with 7.2 seconds left and he missed both, but he snatched the rebound in the lane and put up a shot that bounced around the rim before dropping through the net.
Paige got a good look on the final possession from in front of the UNC bench, but the shot rimmed out as the horn expired.
McDonald’s return came after the NCAA announced hours before tipoff that the senior was cleared to return to competition.
The NCAA said McDonald must repay $1,783 to a charity of his choice for receiving improper benefits from “numerous individuals” during this spring and summer. That included the use of luxury cars, payment of parking tickets, a cellphone and lodging.
After the game, UNC issued a statement from athletic director Bubba Cunningham saying the school was still working with the NCAA on Hairston’s status and expected to have the matter resolved by the end of the week.
UNC lost starting center Joel James to a right knee injury on the first play. The extent of the injury is unclear.
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