PORTLAND, Ore. - The No. 18/18 Alabama men's basketball team outlasted No. 1/1 North Carolina in four overtimes, 103-101, in Sunday's third-place game of the 2022 Phil Knight Invitational.
In a contest that featured 15 ties and 14 lead changes, the Crimson Tide was able to hang on in the final seconds to record the fourth win in program history over an Associated Press No. 1-ranked opponent (4-7).
Mark Sears led the Crimson Tide with a season-high 24 points including a career-high seven threes and Jahvon Quinerly added 21 points, eight assists and six rebounds off the bench. His final dime was a lob to Charles Bediako with 26 seconds left which resulted in the game-winning bucket.
Both teams had several chances to win the game, as the Tide led by four points to begin the second overtime while the Tar Heels led by six in triple overtime.
Alabama went on to improve to 3-0 in program history in quadruple overtime contests with the last one coming on Feb. 17, 2017 at South Carolina (won 90-86).
Alabama led by as many as seven (46-39) with 17:30 remaining in the game The Tar Heels outscored the Tide 24-9 over the next eight minutes to take its largest lead at 63-55 with 9:30 remaining.
UA went on to score 16 of the game's next 24 points to even it up at 71-71 with 4:51 left to play. Regulation would end with the teams tied at 77.
The teams combined to score four points each and were knotted at 81-81 after five minutes of extra time in the first overtime.
In the second overtime, Bama scored the first four points to take an 87-83 lead. The Tide led 89-85 with 2:20 remaining but would not score again and the second OT ended deadlocked at 89-all.
North Carolina opened the third extra session with six straight points to lead 95-89. Alabama battled back and outscored UNC 7-1 over the final 3:39 to finish the period in a 96-96 tie to set up the fourth and final overtime.
With the Tar Heels leading by one, Quinerly floated a pass over the top of the defense to Bediako who converted the layup with 26 seconds remaining. Bediako combined for eight points and eight rebounds in the overtimes, while Miller had seven and Quinerly added six points and two assists
Bediako was one of four Tide players scoring in double figures for the game, recording 14 points and 16 boards along with three blocks and two steals.
HEAD COACH NATE OATS POSTGAME COMMENTS
"That was a fun one! I don't know if I have been involved in a four-overtime game before, I was losing track of how many overtimes we were in at the end but a lot of credit to our guys, we showed a lot of character there and we could have folded.
"To come back from being down six in the third overtime, we were tired and both teams like to get up-and-down, and it turned into a halfcourt game for a majority of the end of the game. I thought guys made some timely plays; I thought Charles (Bediako) was huge for us with 16 rebounds and played 44 minutes. For a guy that is not used to playing more than 20 so for him to be able to stay in for more than 40 and not foul out is probably a record for Charles. (North Carolina center) Armando Bacot is obviously good, but I thought Charles matched him pretty well.
"I give North Carolina a lot of credit. They don't have much depth and for them to go to four overtimes and go toe-to-toe with us shows a lot.
"For Quinerly not being cleared to play a couple of weeks ago and come in and play 44 minutes, I didn't think it was one of his best shooting performances for sure, but he still ends up with 21 points, six rebounds and eight assists, I think that is still a good stat line for a guy that was not cleared to play two weeks ago."
- Alabama played a quadruple overtime game for the third time in program history, winning each of the previous three. The other 4OT occurrence came on Feb. 12, 1972 at LSU (won 103-99).
- It was the second quadruple overtime game between AP top-20 teams in history (2009 Big East Tournament game between No. 3 UConn and No. 18 Syracuse).
- Alabama's bench scored 47 points and outscored its counterparts by 33 (47-14).
- Brandon Miller finished with 14 points and seven rebounds despite fighting foul trouble. After picking up his fourth foul early in the second half, Miller did not return until the 8:56 mark of the second half and played the final 28:56 (rest of regulation and all four overtimes) without fouling out.
- The Tide hit 16 three-pointers and finished 16-of-38 (42 percent) from deep.
Alabama will return home to face South Dakota State on Saturday, Dec. 3 Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT at Coleman Coliseum and will be aired on the SEC Network+