The fifth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels avoided an upset on Saturday night, walking into Littlejohn Coliseum and picking up a hard-fought victory over a hungry Clemson side, 81-79. The win came despite the fact that the Tar Heels didn’t have head coach Roy Williams for the second half of the game, as the Hall of Fame inductee had to be assisted to the locker room prior to the half.
Williams fell to a knee with less than a minute remaining in the game’s first frame. The game stopped while he was tended to — Clemson coach Brad Brownell told the officials to “hold up” when he saw something was going on, per ESPN — and eventually, Williams was assisted back into the locker room as those in attendance cheered.
Williams has dealt with vertigo in the past, and eventually, it was confirmed that this was the cause of this incident.
In his place, longtime Tar Heels assistant Steve Robinson handled coaching duties for the remainder of the half. It was eventually determined that Williams would not return to the game, leaving Robinson to see out the win. Robinson has been tasked with doing this in the past — back when Williams had a similar issue in 2016 against Boston College, Robinson filled in and helped lead North Carolina to a 68-65 win.
The good news is that, according to ESPN, school officials said Williams was feeling better after heading to the locker room. There is no word on whether Williams will be able to coach on Tuesday, when the Tar Heels take on Boston College, but here’s to hoping he’ll be good to go.