Hubert Davis wanted no part of a pressure NCAA shot in 1990

By R.L. Bynum

Hubert Davis knows the pressure of an NCAA tournament game, specifically when facing a No. 1-seed, which is a situation he hopes is Carolina’s situation Saturday.

As a sophomore for a No. 8-seeded UNC team against a No. 1 seed in 1990, he wanted no part of taking a big shot in the final seconds.

Should the No. 8-seed Tar Heels (24–9) win their first-round game in Fort Worth, Texas, on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. (TBS) against No. 9 Marquette (19–12) in an East Regional matchup, they would likely meet No. 1-seed and reigning NCAA champion Baylor (26–6).

Winning an 8 vs. 9 game almost always means a second-round game against a No. 1 seed, and that was the case in 1990 when Davis was on a team that beat No. 9-seed Missouri 84–70 in the first round to earn a matchup with No. 1-seed and top-ranked Oklahoma. Like this weekend’s games, those 1990 games were in Texas. Those games were played in Austin.

With the score tied and seconds left, Coach Dean Smith called a play for Davis to take the final shot and he remembers not looking very confident in the huddle.

“And as soon as we left the huddle, Coach Smith called us all back and he goes, ‘Hubert, you make the pass and Rick, you take the shot,’ ” Davis said. “And I remember being so thankful that he made that change.”

Another current college head coach, Monmouth’s King Rice, made the inbounds pass on the baseline to Davis, who drove to the free-throw line before passing it to Rick Fox. Fox scored on a baseline drive and the Tar Heels pulled off the 79–77 upset.

“I wasn’t really confident at that time shooting the ball and I did not want that shot,” Davis said. “But I felt comfortable making that pass and I’m glad that Coach Smith changed at the last second and I’m glad Rick hit that shot.”

Part of being a good coach is knowing who is ready to make a certain play and Smith must have sensed that Davis wasn’t ready for that moment.

“I’m glad Coach Smith recognized that I wasn’t as confident as I wanted to be in that situation to take that shot,” said Davis, who averaged 9.6 points per game that season.

The team lost in a regional semifinal five days later to No. 7-seed Arkansas 96–73.

NCAA tournament bracket

East Regional schedule

First Round
Thursday, March 17
At Dickies Arena
Fort Worth, Texas

Baylor (26–6) vs. Norfolk St. (24–6), 2 p.m.
North Carolina (24–9) vs. Marquette (19–12), 4:30 p.m.

At Moda Center
Portland, Ore.

Saint Mary’s (Cal.) (25–7) vs. Wyoming-Indiana winner, 7:20 p.m.
UCLA (25–7) vs. Akron (24–9), 9:50 p.m.

At Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Murray St. (30–2) vs. San Francisco (24–9), 9:40 p.m.
Kentucky (26–7) vs. St. Peter’s (19–11), 7:10 p.m.

Friday, March 18
At Fiserv Forum

Texas (21–11) vs. Virginia Tech (23–12), 4:30 p.m.
Purdue (27–7) vs. Yale (19–11), 2 p.m.

Second round
Saturday, March 19
At Dickies Arena
Fort Worth, Texas

Baylor-Norfolk St. winner vs. North Carolina-Marquette winner, TBA

At Moda Center
Portland, Ore.

UCLA-Akron winner vs. Saint Mary’s (Cal.)_Wyoming-Indiana winner, TBA

At Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Kentucky-St. Peter’s winner vs. Murray St.-San Francisco winner, TBA

Sunday, March 20
At Fiserv Forum

Purdue-Yale winner vs. Texas-Virginia Tech winner, TBA

At Wells Fargo Center
Regional semifinals
Friday, March 25

Baylor-Norfolk St./North Carolina-Marquette winner vs. UCLA-Akron/Saint Mary’s (Cal.)_Wyoming-Indiana winner, TBA
Kentucky-St. Peter’s/Murray St.-San Francisco winner vs. Purdue-Yale/Texas-Virginia Tech winner, TBA

Regional championship
Sunday, March 27

Semifinal winners, TBA

DateScore, record/
time, day, TV
(current rank)
November (4–2)
583–55 exhibition winHomeElizabeth City State
983–67 win, 1–0HomeLoyola Maryland
1294–87 win, 2–0HomeBrown
1694–83 win, 3–0RoadCollege of Charleston
2093–84 loss, 3–1Uncasville, Conn.Y — No. 10 Purdue
2189–72 loss, 3–2Uncasville, Conn.Y — No. 5 Tennessee
2372–53 win, 4–2HomeUNC Asheville
December (5–1, 1–0 ACC)
172–51 win, 5–2HomeX — Michigan
579–62 win, 6–2, 1-0 ACCRoadGeorgia Tech
1180–63 win, 7–2 ACCHomeElon
1474–61 win, 8–2 ACCHomeFurman
1898–69 loss, 8–3 ACCLas VegasZ — No. 7 Kentucky
2170–50 win, 9–3 ACCHomeAppalachian State
January (6–3, 6–3 ACC)
291–65 win, 10–3, 2-0 ACCRoadBoston College
578–73 loss, 10–4, 2-1 ACCRoadNotre Dame
874–58 win, 11–4, 3–1 ACCHomeVirginia
1588–65 win, 12–4, 4–1 ACCHomeGeorgia Tech
1885–57 loss, 12–5, 4–2 ACCRoadMiami
2298–76 loss, 12–6, 4–3 ACCRoadWake Forest
2478–68 win, 13–6, 5–3 ACCHomeVirginia Tech
2658–47 win, 14–6, 6–3 ACCHomeBoston College
29100–80 win, 15–6, 7–3 ACCHomeN.C. State
February (7–2, 7–2 ACC)
190–82 OT win, 16–6, 8–3 ACCRoadLouisville
587–67 loss, 16–7, 8–4 ACCHomeNo. 9 Duke
879–77 win, 17–7, 9–4 ACCRoadClemson
1294–74 win, 18–7, 10–4 ACCHomeFlorida State
1676–67 loss, 18–8, 10–5 ACCHomePittsburgh
1965–57 win, 19–8, 11–5 ACCRoadVirginia Tech
2170–63 win, 20–8, 12–5 ACCHomeLouisville
2684–74 win, 21–8, 13–5 ACCRoadN.C. State
2888–79 OT win, 22–8, 14–5 ACCHomeSyracuse
March (2–1)
594–81 win, 23–8, 15–5 ACCRoadNo. 9 Duke
— ACC Tournament —
1063–43 win, 24–8BrooklynVirginia
1172–59 loss, 24–9BrooklynVirginia Tech
— NCAA tournament —
174:30 Thursday, TBSFort Worth, TexasMarquette
X — ACC/Big Ten Challenge; Y — Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off; Z — CBS Sports Classic

Photo via @UNC_Basketball

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