Naithan George scored 16 points and connected on the game-winning shot with 7.7 seconds to play as Georgia Tech upset No. 3 North Carolina 74-73 on Tuesday night in Atlanta.
George, a freshman, also had four assists and four rebounds for the Yellow Jackets (10-11, 3-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), who had lost eight of their previous nine games. It was the first time since 2004 that Georgia Tech beat an opponent ranked in the top five of the AP poll.
RJ Davis scored 28 points for North Carolina (17-4, 9-1), which had a 10-game win streak end. His potential game-winning shot just before the buzzer failed to connect as he received contact from a Georgia Tech defender. The referees did not signal for a foul as Yellow Jackets fans stormed the court.
The Yellow Jackets also got 18 points from Kyle Sturdivant and 15 points from Miles Kelly. Armando Bacot added nine points and nine rebounds for North Carolina in its first loss since Dec. 16, which was also in Atlanta, against then-No. 14 Kentucky.
Georgia Tech trailed by as much as 11 points in the first half before going on a 12-1 run to tie the game up at halftime off a layup from George.
North Carolina took a four-point lead at the 13:41 mark in the second half on a 3-pointer from Cormac Ryan, but the Yellow Jackets responded with back-to-back 3-pointers by Sturdivant and Dallan “Deebo” Coleman.
The Yellow Jackets held onto their lead for most of the second half, extending it to eight points with 5:12 to play on a layup and foul shot by Tyzhaun Claude.
North Carolina cut the deficit to one point with two minutes to play on a 3-pointer by Harrison Ingram, and Davis connected on a layup through contact to give the Heels a one-point advantage with 34.1 seconds to go.
In the final seconds, George put the Yellow Jackets back in front by making a layup over Bacot.
The Tar Heels missed eight of their 17 free-throw attempts. Georgia Tech tallied eight blocks while North Carolina had none, and the Yellow Jackets’ bench outscored the visitors’ reserves 39-14.