You think watching the end of Baylor game was stressful for fans? Multiply that for Manek

By R.L. Bynum

Carolina fans know how stressful it was to watch the Tar Heels blow a 25-point lead to Baylor in the last 10 minutes of regulation on Saturday.

Imagine how it felt in a Dickies Arena dressing room for Brady Manek, who couldn’t watch the television feed for the game.

Instead, there was a TV showing the video feed from the arena’s scoreboard rather than the broadcast feed. That meant that he was often watching a replay while live action was going on. But he often couldn’t see what was happening live and had to wait for another replay to figure out what loud cheers meant.

“Yeah, it was pretty stressful,” Manek said at a press availability on Tuesday ahead of No. 8-seed UNC’s East Regional semifinal at around 9:40 Friday against No. 4-seed UCLA at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center (CBS). “So when the play was still happening, we were watching the replay of the play before so we didn’t know what was going on. We could hear the crowd. It was stressful all the way around.”

At least he had Eric Hoots, the basketball program’s director of operations, keeping him company and going through the same frustrations of trying to figure out what was going on.

“We had the lead, we should have beat them by a whole lot more,”  Manek said of UNC’s 93-86 overtime victory over Baylor. “And then that happens and the whole game shifts and it was just a crazy, crazy thing to go through. Wouldn’t want to do that again.”

At least for fans, they are used to watching the Tar Heels and knowing that they really can’t do anything to affect the outcome of the game. That was not the case for Manek, who had scored 28 points before the flagrant-two foul led to his ejection.

He said that there have been few times in his athletic career that led to more stress.

“Yeah, definitely up there,” Manek said. “You know, especially the lead we had and not being able to have anything to do with holding that lead and finishing the game.”

He could only watch and hope that the foul wasn’t the last act of his college career, and that made it a huge relief when his teammates joined him in the locker room after the victory.

“It was unbelievable,” Manek said. “It wasn’t unbelievable with the with the loss of the lead, but it was unbelievable how they played in overtime and stepped up and hit big shots.”

When the whistle blew on the play, he knew that his high elbow could be trouble for him.

“I think anytime something like that happens, especially above the shoulders, it gives you that stress, right then and there,” Manek said. “It was one of those things.”

One of Manek’s hopes, when he decided to transfer to Carolina from Oklahoma, was that he could finally play during the second weekend of the NCAA tournament, so he’s thrilled to be about to experience Sweet 16 action.

“It’s special,” Manek said. “We’ve got a really good chance on Friday. We’re playing really well. A lot of the guys have their confidence up and we fought through that last game, so I feel like we can fight through anything.”

And he hopes to be on the court at the end of Friday’s game instead of having to follow an arena video feed.

NCAA Sweet 16

East Regional
At Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
Friday’s regional semifinals
No. 3 Purdue (29–7) vs. No. 15 St. Peter’s (21–11), 7:09 p.m.
No. 4 UCLA (27–7) vs. No. 8 North Carolina (26–9), 9:39 p.m.
Sunday’s regional final
UCLA-North Carolina winner vs. Purdue-St. Peter’s winner, TBA
South Regional
At AT&T Center, San Antonio
Thursday’s regional semifinals
No. 2 Villanova (28–7) vs. No. 11 Michigan (19–14), 7:29 p.m.
No. 1 Arizona (33–3) vs. No. 5 Houston (31–5), 9:59 p.m.
Saturday’s regional final
Arizona-Houston winner vs. Villanova-Michigan winner, TBA
Midwest Regional
At United Center, Chicago
Friday’s regional semifinals
No. 1 Kansas (30–6) vs. No. 4 Providence (27–5), 7:29 p.m.
No. 10 Miami (25–10) vs. No. 11 Iowa State (22–12), 9:59 p.m.
Sunday’s regional final
Kansas-Providence winner vs. Miami-Iowa St. winner, TBA
West Regional
At Chase Center, San Francisco
Thursday’s regional semifinals
No. 1 Gonzaga (28–3) vs. No. 4 Arkansas (27–8), 7:09 p.m.
No. 2 Duke (30–6) vs. No. 3 Texas Tech (27–9), 9:39 p.m.
Saturday’s regional final
Gonzaga-Arkansas winner vs. Duke-Texas Tech winner, TBA
Final Four
At Superdome, New Orleans
Saturday, April 2 national semifinals

West winner vs. East winner
South winner vs. Midwest winner
Monday, April 4 final
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 (4–1)
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 —
1795–63 win, 25–9Fort Worth, TexasMarquette
1993–86 OT win, 26–9Fort Worth, TexasBaylor
259:40 Friday, CBSPhiladelphiaNo. 11 UCLA
X — ACC/Big Ten Challenge; Y — Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off; Z — CBS Sports Classic

Photo via @UNC_Basketball


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