With Saturday marking the first weekend where college football didn’t dominate the sports schedule, college basketball took full advantage, with some pivotal non-conference games on the docket, a few featuring Top 25 teams and some others that made an argument to be ranked.
If you’re starting with Top 25 teams, you have to begin with No. 18 Kentucky at No. 11 North Carolina on Saturday, where the Tar Heels kept their head-scratching narrative going with an 82-77 victory in the Dean Dome. Marcus Paige dropped 23 points, including a 10-of-10 performance from the free throw line. After losing to Belmont at home and UAB in Birmingham, UNC has now notched victories over several of the top teams in the nation, beating the AP’s top three preseason teams in America. As you’ll see, you can attribute their elevated play to hot shooting against elite defensive teams, but it’s pretty impressive that Roy Williams’ bunch is doing all this without P.J. Hairston in the lineup (more on him at the bottom).
Marcus Paige has been terrific in the second half. UNC again rising to the occasion. Another inspiring performance by the Tarheels.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) December 15, 2013
Wow. North Carolina shot a combined 55.1 percent in the second halves of wins against Louisville, Michigan State and Kentucky.
— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonRivals) December 15, 2013
From last night … It's hard to watch North Carolina without thinking about the Hairston/McDonald NCAA debacle. http://t.co/M2Za7px4NX
— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) December 15, 2013
Soooo the Tarheels have beat the #1 #3 and #11 without their #1 scorer and #3 best player? #dope. Can't wait for conference play. Ya dig.
— • (@iVoryBabyBaby) December 17, 2013
Another game that really caught the public eye on Saturday was No. 1 Arizona heading to the Crisler Center to take on Michigan. The Wildcats came back late and held on to win to preserve their spot at the top of the polls. While Brandon Ashley led the Cats with a team-high 18 points, Aaron Gordon put up his own nice performance of 14 points, five rebounds and two assists, but saved his best for what he did defensively in the second half against a red-hot Glenn Robinson III. Read the rest of this entry »