Bullock then drilled a 3 to give North Carolina a 63-61 lead with 39 seconds left, but Offutt — who else? — scored on an off-balance drive and drew a foul from White. Offutt's foul shot was way left, the only free throw the Bobcats missed in eight attempts, and Zeller grabbed the rebound.
"It's just like him to take responsibility for the loss because that's who he is," Bobcats coach John Groce said of his senior, a transfer from Ohio State by way of Wright State. "But the reality of it is, that doesn't fall on him. There's so many plays during the game that make up the game in a 45-minute game, and if anybody deserved to make that free throw, it's him. It just didn't go in."
The Tar Heels worked the shot clock down to the very last seconds, but Barnes lost the ball and Offutt came up with it. He flipped the ball to Cooper, who raced to midcourt and launched a prayer. It caromed off the rim, sending the game into overtime.
Kellogg's father, Clark, calling the games in Atlanta for CBS, smiled as he watched the final plays.
"Overtime," he said, clapping.
But the Bobcats had nothing left. Bullock opened the extra period with a 3 and Barnes came right back with a jumper. After Kellogg made a pair of free throws to cut it to 68-65, Barnes made a pair of his own and Ohio could never get any closer.
"Awful proud of our guys for the way that they fought," Groce said. "But as I told them in the locker room, there's nothing I can say to them at this point that's going to take away the sting of getting beat in that one. They've got a lot of pride and they believed all year that we could compete and beat anybody that we played. That was no different heading into tonight's game."
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