Nate Laszewski drained a 3-point basket with 2.4 seconds to remaining to rescue Notre Dame in a second-half comeback for a 77-76 victory against visiting North Carolina on Monday night at the Joyce Center in South Bend, Ind.
The Fighting Irish rallied from 15 points down across the last 8 1/2 minutes to avoid a potentially devastating loss in their quest to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Notre Dame's winning sequence came when John Mooney missed a shot in the lane, but Rex Pflueger rebounded and passed to Laszewski, who was waiting behind the 3-point arc.
Brandon Robinson's potential winning shot for North Carolina from midcourt was short as time expired.
Prentiss Gibbs had 20 points and eight assists for Notre Dame (16-10, 7-8 ACC), while Mooney had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Laszewski finished with 11 points.
Cole Anthony posted 23 points and Garrison Brooks added 22 points for last-place North Carolina (10-16, 3-12), which lost another game in the final seconds after a two-point setback to Virginia on Saturday night. Robinson, who had 11 points, was back in action after missing the past four games with an ankle injury.
Notre Dame lost its previous two games on the road at Virginia and Duke. The Tar Heels have a six-game losing streak.
North Carolina used a 13-0 run to build a 46-38 lead and shortly after stretched it to 52-41.
North Carolina's 15-point edge with 8 1/2 minutes left dipped to 68-64 less than three minutes later. Laszewski's 3-pointer made it 73-70 with 3:14 to go.
Then with the score 73-71, Anthony drained a 3-point basket for a five-point lead with 1:39 left, but the Tar Heels couldn't hold on.
Notre Dame had lost its previous seven games against North Carolina. The Irish avenged a season-opening loss when Anthony poured in 34 points in his collegiate debut.
Notre Dame used a 9-0 run for a 22-15 lead in the first half as the Tar Heels went more than four minutes without scoring. The Irish led 36-33 at halftime after leading by as many as nine.
North Carolina shot 35.1 percent in the first half, yet stayed in range even with Notre Dame committing only one turnover. The Irish finished with six turnovers overall, helping compensate for getting beaten 47-31 on the boards for the game.
--Field Level Media