North Carolina might have lost its top seven scorers from its national championship team and entered the season unranked. The Tar Heels, however, still are capable of a big victory.
Led by a career-high 25 points from Reyshawn Terry, North Carolina upset No. 10 Kentucky, 83-79 yesterday, giving the Tar Heels an emphatic win on the road that ended the Wildcats' 11-game winning streak at Rupp Arena.
This was a matchup of basketball teams that rank 1-2 in NCAA Division I in overall wins, and North Carolina (4-1) showed it remains plenty dangerous despite a roster depleted after three players graduated and another four entered the NBA draft.
"We kind of figured everybody would write us off," Terry said. "We really can't worry about that. You use that as motivation and try to be better."
That's exactly what the Tar Heels did yesterday, four days after a four-point loss to No. 12 Illinois in a rematch of the NCAA title game. North Carolina held off two second-half runs by Kentucky (5-2) to beat the Wildcats for the second straight season.
"It was a sensational day for us," North Carolina Coach Roy Williams said. "When they made their runs we were able to counter instead of being soft and backing off and being tentative."
* VILLANOVA 85, OKLAHOMA 74: Randy Foye was the best of the Wildcats' four guards as fourth-ranked Villanova beat the visiting, No. 5 Sooners in the season's first matchup of teams ranked in the top five.
Foye had a career-high 32 points for Villanova (4-0), which had to listen all week to people wondering if the Wildcats' small lineup because of a knee injury to forward Curtis Sumpter could handle a good front court like Oklahoma's. The Sooners fell to 4-1.
* HOUSTON 69, ARIZONA 65: Oliver Lafayette scored 28 points and the Cougars recorded their second straight upset of a top 25 team, beating the No. 15 Wildcats in Houston.
Jahmar Thorpe added 13 points and Lanny Smith had 11 assists for the Cougars (3-1), who beat No. 25 LSU on Tuesday. The Wildcats (2-3) were the highest-ranked team to lose to Houston since the Cougars upset third-ranked Memphis, 69-67, in 1996.
* ILLINOIS 65, XAVIER 62: Dee Brown and James Augustine carried the scoring load and Marcus Arnold's inspired play off the bench late in the second half helped the No. 12 Illini (7-0) rally from an early 15-point deficit to win in Chicago.
Augustine scored 23 points and Brown had 20, but Arnold scored seven points and grabbed a pair of key rebounds. He tied the game at 53 and then converted a three-point play to give the Illini a 56-53 lead with 5 minutes 10 seconds to go.
* MEMPHIS 91, CINCINNATI 81: Freshman Antonio Anderson emerged from his deep shooting slump by scoring 32 points, and the No. 9 Tigers (6-1) used their balance and depth to beat the Bearcats in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati (3-2) had never lost back-to-back games in the 17-year history of its arena before Dayton and Memphis beat it in a five-day span.
* MICHIGAN ST. 72, ARK.-LITTLE ROCK 67: Paul Davis scored 17 of his game-high 23 points in the second half to lead the No. 13 Spartans to victory in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Davis scored the first nine points of the second half for Michigan State (5-2), sparking a 16-3 run that broke a 30-30 halftime tie.
* WAKE FOREST 78, ELON 59: Justin Gray scored half his 22 points during the opening five minutes of the second half, Trent Strickland added 10 points and 12 rebounds and the No. 22 Demon Deacons cruised to victory in Greensboro, N.C. Wake Forest improved to 7-1.
* LOUISVILLE 90, PRAIRIE VIEW 65: David Padgett had 17 points and 10 rebounds in his first game in almost two years to lead the No. 7 Cardinals to the home victory in the Colonial Classic.
Padgett, who sprained his left knee in an intrasquad game three weeks ago, played a solid 27 minutes in his first game since transferring to Louisville from Kansas last year. Juan Palacios led the Cardinals (2-0) with 19 points.
* TEXAS 93, TEXAS-ARLINGTON 55: Daniel Gibson scored a career-high 29 points and the No. 2 Longhorns won in Austin.
P.J. Tucker added 20 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 14 and Brad Buckman 13 for the Longhorns (7-0), off to their best start since the 1981-82 team opened 14-0.
* BOSTON COLLEGE 77, SACRED HEART 66: Jared Dudley scored a season-low 11 points but managed to surpass 1,000 in his career, adding 12 rebounds as the host No. 8 Eagles remained unbeaten. Craig Smith scored 20 with 10 rebounds as the Eagles improved to 6-0.
* INDIANA 79, EASTERN MICHIGAN 63: Robert Vaden scored 18 points and freshman Ben Allen added a career-high 15 as the No. 17 Hoosiers won at home.
The victory was Coach Mike Davis's 100th in six seasons at Indiana (4-1), making him the second-fastest to the 100-win mark in school history. Only Bob Knight achieved the feat faster, doing it in five seasons.
* NEVADA 77, PACIFIC 70: Mo Charlo scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half and grabbed eight rebounds and Nick Fazekas added 23 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks, helping the No. 20 Wolfpack (5-0) snap a 20-game losing streak in Stockton, Calif.
* IOWA 72, VALPARAISO 59: Jeff Horner scored a season-high 19 points and Mike Henderson tied a season best with 15 as No. 14 Iowa (7-1) won the Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City for the 20th year in a row.
* FLORIDA 80, CENTRAL FLORIDA 47: Corey Brewer had 25 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals to lead the No. 11 Gators (7-0) to the home win. The victory was No. 200 for Gators Coach Billy Donovan.
* ALABAMA 60, WINTHROP 57: Chuck Davis scored 22 points to lead the No. 21 Crimson Tide (4-1) to the home win.
Sutton Passes Driesell
Eddie Sutton passed Lefty Driesell for fifth place on the career coaching wins list with Oklahoma State's 64-54 victory over SMU in Stillwater, Okla.
Sutton, 787-300 in his 36-year coaching career, trails only North Carolina's Dean Smith, Kentucky's Adolph Rupp, Texas Tech's Bob Knight and Jim Phelan of Mount St. Mary's.