UNC players leave bench early during celebration

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) Some North Carolina players ran onto the court before the final horn sounded of their buzzer-beating 86-84 victory over Ohio State on Monday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Tar Heels won it on a jumper by Jamie Cherry with 0.6 seconds remaining. After her 18-footer swished through, a handful of Tar Heels ran from the bench onto the court in celebration as the Buckeyes inbounded the ball but didn't get a final shot off before the buzzer.

According to Rule 10, Sect. 4, Article 7 of the NCAA rulebook, such a delay in a game shall be ignored ''when the delay does not interfere with play.''

After the horn, the three officials huddled at midcourt then went to the table and said there wasn't any interference.

''The rule was enforced correctly,'' said June Courteau, who is the NCAA women's basketball national coordinator of officiating.

Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff was not asked about it - and did not bring it up on his own - during his postgame news conference.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.