NEW YORK — North Carolina will get to play for another title after all.
Deon Thompson had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and fourth-seeded North Carolina survived a frantic final few seconds to defeat Rhode Island 68-67 in overtime Thursday night and reach the NIT championship game.
Will Graves added 14 points and Tyler Zeller 13 for the Tar Heels (20-16), who will try to make some bittersweet history Thursday night against Dayton by becoming the first school to follow a national title with an NIT title.
North Carolina had the ball with about 5 seconds remaining in overtime and the shot clock about to expire when Larry Drew II forced up a wild shot. The rebound eventually wound up in the hands of Rhode Island forward DelRoy James, who lost control as he rushed up court moments before the buzzer sounded, never coming close to getting off a shot.