North Carolina won an epic 85-84 overtime game at NC State on Wednesday. Perhaps the biggest upset of the night was the fact that Marcus Paige’s 35 points only moved him up two rungs on the UNC Scoring Ladder.
Paige vaulted into 88th place. His fourth point of the game (and last in the first half) moved him past Darrell Elston. A Tar Heel from 1971 to 1974, Elston was on the 1972 Final Four team and earned second-team All ACC as a senior. He scored 601 points in the NBA and ABA, with the Virginia Squires and Indiana Pacers, which is just behind Tyler Zeller on the UNC pro alumni scoring ladder.
Paige’s free throw that gave Carolina a one-point lead with 1:39 remaining in regulation moved him past Dave Popson. A McDonald's All American in 1983, Popson played for Carolina from ‘83 to ‘87. He played for four teams in three NBA seasons, scoring 76 points in the league.
Here are the members of Paige’s supporting cast who climbed the ladder on Wednesday:
Kennedy Meeks moved up one spot to 154th, passing Quentin Thomas. A backup point guard from 2003 to 2008, Thomas played 6 minutes in Final Four wins over Michigan State and Illinois in 2005 as Carolina won its first national championship in 12 years. After his Carolina career, Thomas tried his hand at rapping under the stage name GQ.
JP Tokoto moved up two spots to 138th passing Wes Miller and Ray Harrison. Miller was a reserve from 2005 to 2007 after transferring from James Madison following his freshman year. He played one minute in the 2005 Final Four win over Michigan State and had a DNP in the title game. Instead of rap, Miller got into coaching after Carolina. After serving as assistant coach at Elon, High Point and UNC-Greensboro, Miller got the UNC-G head job in 2010. He was the Southern Conference coach of the year in 2012. Harrison played for Carolina in 1973 and 1974
Brice Johnson moved up one spot to 118th passing Pat Sullivan. The target of sarcastic “Oh no, not Pat Sullivan!” chants when he entered games at Duke, Sullivan is one of eight Tar Heels to play on three Final Four teams. He earned an NBA championship ring as an assistant coach to Larry Brown on the 2004 Pistons and has also been on staffs for New Jersey and Washington, Sullivan missed a free throw with 19 seconds left in the 1993 championship game that was rebounded by Michigan’s Chris Webber, who then called time out.