Year after year, every Clemson team that played at North Carolina left the court in the same fashion: By throwing another loss onto what had grown into a bizarrely long streak.
No longer. For once, after a 79-76 overtime win in Chapel Hill, the Tigers were the ones celebrating while the Tar Heels were left to ponder a late collapse to add to their recent struggles.
The way the final moments of regulation unfolded stung Tar Heels coach Roy Williams so badly that he said athletic director Bubba Cunningham should probably fire him.
After Williams forgot to tell the Tar Heels to foul, Clemson's Aamir Simms hit an overtime-forcing 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left in regulation and Clemson went on to erase decades of futility at North Carolina, earning its first win in 60 tries in Chapel Hill.
"We've had some great moments as a coach and right now I'd say this is my lowest one because losing this game was my fault," Williams said. "Told them if I die tomorrow or 20 years from now that'll be the biggest regret I had in 32 years as a coach. Cause these kids really need a win. And their coach let them down today."
Williams didn't stop there, either.
"Gotta tell Bubba he should probably fire me, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea," Williams said, folding up a stat sheet to put in his jacket pocket. "The coach is supposed to help his kids. I didn't help them very much.''
The mood was far lighter for Clemson coach Brad Brownell and his players.
"We're certainly glad to have it past us and not be asked about it anymore," Brownell said, "and we can move on to other things that we need to accomplish in our program.''
Simms finished with 20 points for the Tigers (8-7, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who trailed by 10 with a little more than two minutes left in regulation. But Clemson made a frantic comeback to force the extra period, then came up with enough key baskets to do what no other predecessor had done in school history.