HOUSTON (WNCN) – Former North Carolina star Michael Jordan, who knows something about hitting winning shots in national title games, went to the Tar Heels’ locker room after the game on Monday night.
Carolina lost 77-74 after Villanova’s Kris Jenkins hit a three-point shot with no time left. Jenkins’ shot came seconds after UNC’s Marcus Paige hit a miraculous three-pointer to tie the score.
The Heels were stunned by Jenkins’ shot, and the locker room after the game was somber. But Paige said he was shocked to look up and see Jordan addressing the team.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know who was talking until about 30 seconds after he had started because I didn’t have a chance to look up. I was so hurt from what had just happened,” Paige told InsideCarolina.com. “But I looked up to see the greatest player to ever play basketball.”
Paige told the website that Jordan told the team that winners have to experience struggles and losses.
Senior forward Brice Johnson said Jordan told the team he was proud of them, according to USA Today.
“He was just saying he was proud of us and he’s proud to be a Tar Heel and all of those things and he just wishes the outcome was a little bit better than it was,” Johnson told the newspaper. “It means a lot. He’s one of the greatest to ever play the game. It’s an honor to be able to say I’m a Tar Heel along with him.”
Jordan was a freshman when his shot beat Georgetown in the 1982 NCAA title game in New Orleans.