Lebo also had crucial role in two buzzer-beaters 35 years ago

By R.L. Bynum

When Carolina needs a buzzer-beating shot to send a game into overtime, it’s wise to involve Jeff Lebo, and that was also true 35 years ago.

Lebo earned a lot of praise after the Tar Heels’ 89–84 overtime victory Saturday in New York over Ohio State because he drew up the play that sent the game into overtime.

Using RJ Davis as a decoy in the near corner, he had Leaky Black make a long inbounds skip pass to Pete Nance with 1.2 seconds left. Nance sank a short turnaround jumper, with the ball leaving his hands an instant before time expired.

It was far from the first time that Lebo was a crucial contributor in that situation. He had the assist the two previous times a Carolina shot at the buzzer extended games.

The play is at 1:10 in this video.

On Nov. 21, 1987, with 10 seconds left, Lebo dribbled down the court and passed out of a double-team to Pete Chilcutt. Chilcutt hit, you guessed it, a short turnaround jumper at the buzzer that sent a game against No. 1 Syracuse in Springfield, Mass., into overtime. The No. 3 Tar Heels went on to win 96–93, with Lebo scoring 20 points.

In the 1987 ACC Tournament semifinals, Lebo was fouled as he flung off a pass to Scott Williams, who made a jump hook as time expired in the first overtime to force a second overtime.

The play is at 1:36 in this video.

No. 2-ranked UNC beat Virginia 84–82 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md., on a day when both semifinals went into double overtime. Eventual ACC champion N.C. State beat Wake Forest 77–73 in the other semifinal.

There were 35 years, 1,249 games and 52 overtimes between Lebo assisting on Chilcutt’s buzzer-beater and assisting from the bench on Nance’s buzzer-beater.


Photo via @UNC_Basketball

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