The Seminoles erased a 24-point deficit and stunned the Tar Heels 90-81 in overtime, ending a four-game losing streak and possibly vaulting the team back into NCAA Tournament contention.
FSU seemed completely overmatched as North Carolina's accurate shooting helped build a 42-18 lead with just more than five minutes left in the first half.
But UNC coach Roy Williams called the Tar Heels' advantage "fool's gold."
He was right.
Tim Pickett scored six of his 30 points in overtime for FSU, which scored the first 11 points of the extra period.
Seminoles reserve point guard Todd Galloway tied it on a 3-pointer from the corner with 7.2 seconds remaining in regulation, tying the game for the first time since the opening tip.
After FSU center Alexander Johnson blocked a shot by UNC center Sean May, a sure game-clincher with 19 seconds left, Galloway got the ball, dribbled downcourt into the scoring lane, backed out, as Felton fell down.
Galloway, who has struggled all season and was in the game as starter Nate Johnson struggled with a bum knee, then made sure he was behind the 3-point line and buried the shot.
"I don't think I've ever hit a shot that big, maybe when I was 9 or 10-years old," Galloway said.
In the overtime, the Seminoles scored all the points until McCants hit a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left, after the game was decided. Johnson scored the Seminoles' first points. Pickett then hit a 3-pointer, and a pull-up shot to provide a seven- point cushion.
"After about the first 15 minutes of the game, they totally outplayed us, outcoached us, outclassed us," Williams said. "It was fool's gold for us early in the game ... we're making all the jump shots and everybody thinks it's going to be easy. They totally dominated us."
FSU coach Leonard Hamilton was obviously thrilled by the Seminoles' heroics.
The fact we were able to do it hopefully makes us understand what we can do if we play hard, stick together and not let adversity get to you" Hamilton said. "This was a very significant win, but it concerns me that we have to be down by 24 points against a team like North Carolina in order to understand that."
Florida State (13-5, 2-3 ACC) plays host to Wake Forest on Sunday.