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No. 13 UNT upsets 4th-seeded Purdue to earn first-ever NCAA Tournament win

A 78-69 win for the Mean Green improves them to 18-9 on the year and advances them to a matchup with the winner of Villanova-Winthrop.
Credit: AP
North Texas's Javion Hamlet (3) shoots against Purdue's Jaden Ivey (23) during the second half of a first-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium, Friday, March 19, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The North Texas Mean Green have their first NCAA Tournament win in program history. 

A 78-69 win for the Mean Green improves them to 18-9 on the year and advances them to a matchup with the winner of Villanova-Winthrop.

And senior Thomas Bell's play late in regulation and overtime is what pushed the Mean Green into the second round. 

Bell hit a three-pointer to open the scoring in overtime, to give UNT a 64-61 advantage. He then made a steal on the other end, followed by an assist, as he set up Zachary Simmons for a layup, and the Mean Green led by 5. 

Then, with 2:25 to play in the extra frame, Javion Hamlet added to his team-high 24 points, to extend the lead to seven. Bell finished with 16 points. 

The Mean Green had four players in double-figures.

Trevion Williams scored four points in the final 70 seconds of the game, to bring Purdue back and force overtime. The Boilermakers big center scored in the post to cut the lead to two, at 61-59 with 1:10 to play. 

Then, after a UNT empty possession on the other end, Williams followed his own miss for a tip-in finish to tie the game at 61. 

RELATED: March Madness upsets tracker: No. 15 Oral Roberts, No. 13 North Texas break brackets

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