What The "Heel" Was Roy Williams Thinking?

Jacob NitzbergAnalyst IFebruary 21, 2009

No. 3 North Carolina was upset at Maryland today, 88-85 in overtime.  Maryland played a tremendous game in the second half and overtime, rallying from 16 down in the second half for the win. Maryland Junior guard Greivis Vazquez had a career night, going for 35 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.

It was not a particularly well played game by UNC, but one decision by Tar Heels coach Roy Williams still leaves me with a similar look on my face as the one in Roy's picture above.

With 35.3 seconds to play in overtime, North Carolina trailed by three with Ty Lawson stepping to the free throw line for two shots.  He made them both to make it a one point game.  Naturally, UNC fouled immediately after the inbounds.  At least they should have.

Conventional math teaches us that when there are 35 seconds left in a game and 35 seconds on a shot clock, the team with the ball does not have to take a shot for the rest of the game.  Apparently Roy Williams couldn't figure that out.

After subbing in Larry Drew II, presumably to commit the foul as he only had one, the Tar Heels allowed 24 seconds to run off the clock before finally fouling 85 percent free throw shooter Eric Hayes.  I can understand going for the steal, but maybe for a maximum of five or six seconds before committing the foul.  As soon as the opposition crosses midcourt you foul immediately.

By letting all that time run off the clock, Williams allowed Maryland to foul UNC the next trip down the court before attempting a potential game-tying three, and create enough pressure so they could not get another shot attempt to tie it on the final possession.

Carolina had a chance to improve to 11-2 in the ACC and take an almost insurmountable three game lead in the conference.  Instead, they drop to 10-3, lead by only two games, and Maryland now has life for a potential NCAA Tournament bid.

Since I can't figure out what just happened, I'll leave it to you.  Please leave a comment and let me know WHAT ROY WILLIAMS WAS THINKING????