ASHEVILLE, N.C. – It wasn’t long after Texas arrived for the relocated Maui Invitational that coach Shaka Smart pointed out the banners hanging above the court to recognize the tournament’s past champions.
“We said: ‘There’s no Texas on these banners,’” Smart said.
There will be now, thanks to Matt Coleman III’s clock-beating shot and a defensive effort that carried the 17th-ranked Longhorns to their first title.
Coleman hit a stepback jumper with 0.1 seconds left to help Texas beat No. 14 North Carolina 69-67 in Wednesday's final, capping a wild finish that saw the Longhorns regroup after blowing a 16-point lead and falling behind late.
Coleman finished with 22 points and was the most valuable player for the Longhorns (4-0), securing the program's first Maui title in their fifth appearance.
The senior led the offense all day long, making 9 of 16 shots with three 3-pointers. And he was ready for his clutch moment, saying he even smirked during the preceding timeout with a single thought: “I was just made for times like this.”
Coleman dribbled down the clock against UNC's RJ Davis and made his move. The lefty drove to the foul line, and then sprung back to launch a soft jumper over Davis' outstretched arm from near the right elbow.
The ball bounced the rim, then the backboard, then through the net.