Wisconsin found somebody who could stop Texas 7-footer Chris Mihm. To everybody's surprise, it was 6-foot-3 Mike Kelley.
Jon Bryant scored 16 points and Wisconsin's aggressive, unconventional defense baffled Texas's high-powered offense as the Badgers upset the No. 10 Longhorns, 61-45, last night in Madison, Wis.
Kelley set a Big Ten record with 10 steals, and he stood out among many Badgers who gave sterling defensive efforts. Texas's 45 points were the school's fewest since Jan. 26, 1985, when the Longhorns lost 53-45 to Texas Christian.
Wisconsin Coach Dick Bennett's game plan against Mihm made the difference, but Bennett credited Kelley's outstanding effort with changing the game. Kelley's constant double-teams in the post against Mihm threw Texas's offense into disarray.
"I've not seen many efforts like that," Bennett said. "I've never seen a guard take over a game like that."
Texas (4-2) has lost two straight since winning the Puerto Rico Shootout in late November. Mihm had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Longhorns, who turned in a lackluster effort marked by poor shooting and turnovers.
"If you don't do the little things, Wisconsin will expose you," Texas Coach Rick Barnes said. "If you let your guard down for one second with the schedule we play, you're going to get hit real hard."
The Badgers (5-2) ran away with the victory thanks to the marksmanship of Bryant, who hit three three-pointers, and the inside play of 6-foot-9 Mark Vershaw, who scored 11 points and outplayed Mihm in the post.
NORTH CAROLINA 91, BUFFALO 67: Joseph Forte (DeMatha) scored 19 points as the No. 7 Tar Heels shook off a sluggish first half in Amherst, N.Y. Buffalo (2-4) led by 12 in the first half and by five at halftime before North Carolina (6-1) woke up and roared away down the stretch.
INDIANA 73, MISSOURI 68: Reserve Kirk Haston scored all 17 of his points in the second half as the No. 15 Hoosiers, once down 16, rallied in Columbia, Mo. "I'm as pleased as I've been with a team in a long time for being able to come back," Indiana Coach Bobby Knight.
KENTUCKY 84, UNC ASHEVILLE 41: In Lexington, Ky., Desmond Allison scored 15 points as No. 23 Kentucky snapped a three-game losing streak.
SYRACUSE 86, ALBANY 46: Damone Brown had 20 points and Preston Shumpert added 18 as the No. 12 Orangemen breezed at home.
PURDUE 86, ILLINOIS ST. 75: Jaraan Cornell and Maynard Lewis scored 19 points apiece to lead five Boilermakers in double figures as No. 25 Purdue won in Normal, Ill.