By JOEDY McCREARY
The Associated Press
Monday, November 19, 2007; 4:46 AM
RALEIGH, N.C. -- T.J. Worley made a promise to New Orleans star Bo McCalebb.
"I told Bo during the game, 'I'm not losing this game for you,'" Worley said.
Instead, with time running out, he won it _ with a most unlikely shot.
Worley banked in a 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left to help the Privateers become the latest mid-major to spring an upset, a 65-63 stunner against No. 21 North Carolina State on Sunday night.
"Our guys have been through so much _ our seniors have endured hurricanes, three coaching changes," first-year coach Joe Pasternack said. "To come in here and give them a win like this, to me that's everything special."
The wild final 15 seconds featured three lead changes, and New Orleans erased a late seven-point deficit by scoring eight straight points in the final 1:48, taking a 62-61 lead with 14.9 seconds left on McCalebb's two free throws.
Gavin Grant hit a layup over Jaroslav Tyrna to put N.C. State up 63-62 with 8.3 seconds left, and the Privateers frantically inbounded it to McCalebb, who lost control of the ball. Worley picked it up and heaved a 3-pointer over three defenders from about 25 feet that kissed off the glass.
"Bo lost the ball, I thought he was fouled and I was able to pick it up, and I shot it as quickly as possible," Worley said. "Thank God it went in."
Worley then broke up Brandon Costner's desperation pass to freshman J.J. Hickson as time expired, and the Privateers raced onto the court and danced at midcourt to celebrate an unlikely victory.
In other games involving ranked teams on Sunday, it was: No. 1 North Carolina 107, Iona 72; No. 6 Louisville 84, Jackson State 53, No. 8 Indiana 100 Longwood 49; No. 16 Texas 100, Arkansas-Monticello 52; No. 18 Arkansas 70, Virginia Commonwealth 60; and No. 24 Villanova 70, Bucknell 64.
"I want to see if we grow, if we take this experience tonight and use it and understand that feeling," N.C. State coach Sidney Lowe said. "I told them, 'I hope you really hurt right now, because you never want to have that feeling again.'"
McCalebb, the Sun Belt player of the year, scored 20 points on 5-for-19 shooting in his reunion game with former coach Monte Towe, a former N.C. State point guard who coached New Orleans from 2002-06 and recruited many of the Privateers before leaving to join Lowe's staff.
"We were coming here like old times, talked to him, see what's going on," McCalebb said. "But we still came in to play basketball. Once the game started, it was all about business."
Kyndall Dykes scored 13 points, Tyrna had 12 and Worley finished with 10 for New Orleans (2-0), which got its first big victory for Pasternack, a 30-year-old New Orleans native.
"All the adversity through (Hurricane) Katrina ... these players that have been here, they deserve it," said Worley, a Delaware State transfer who's no stranger to Tobacco Road _ in the first round of the 2005 NCAA tournament in Charlotte, he scored 13 points against Duke.
Hickson had 22 points and 13 rebounds, and Grant finished with 20 points for N.C. State (1-1).
New Orleans, playing its first ranked opponent since 2003, snapped its six-game losing streak against teams in the Top 25 by beating one for the first time since upending then-No. 21 George Washington 63-60 in 1993. The Privateers also beat an Atlantic Coast Conference team for the first time since upsetting Virginia in 1991.
"Our guys really believed before the game they could win this game, and I believe that is half the battle, coming into a game like this," Pasternack said. "They came in here and they fought for 40 minutes, and that's all we can ask as coaches _ that they do that _ and they did that tonight."
No. 1 North Carolina 107, Iona 72
Tyler Hansbrough had 27 points while Danny Green scored 15 in North Carolina's home opener.
Wayne Ellington added 14 for the Tar Heels (2-0). Dexter Gray scored 18 points to lead the Gaels (0-3).
No. 6 Louisville 84, Jackson St. 53
Earl Clark had 20 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for host Louisville.
Andre McGee matched his career high with 18 points and Derrick Caracter had 11 points and eight rebounds as Louisville (2-0) had little trouble with the Tigers (0-4).
No. 8 Indiana 100, Longwood 49
Eric Gordon followed his record-breaking debut with 21 points and Jordan Crawford added 16 for host Indiana in the opening round of the Chicago Invitational Challenge.
Gordon's 33 points against Chattanooga last week were the most by any player in his first game at Indiana (2-0), and the freshman continued his hot shooting with five 3-pointers against the Lancers (2-2).
No. 16 Texas 100, Arkansas-Monticello 52
A.J. Abrams scored a career-high 30 points and host Texas cruised past Division II Arkansas-Monticello.
Texas (3-0) hit 16 3-pointers, two shy of the school record. Arkansas-Monticello (0-2) was just 3-of-33 shooting in the first half.
No. 18 Arkansas 70, Virginia Commonwealth 60
Sonny Weems scored 16 points and Patrick Beverley added 13 for Arkansas in a consolation game at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
The Razorbacks (3-1) led 34-24 at halftime. Michael Anderson led VCU with 16 points, but the Rams (2-2) were held to 33 percent shooting.
No. 24 Villanova 70, Bucknell 64
Shane Clark had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Scottie Reynolds added 15 points for host Villanova.
Reggie Redding had a career-high 12 points for Villanova (2-0). John Griffin had a career-high 22 points for Bucknell (2-1).