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 win.
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 victory on the road that ended the Wildcats' 11-game winning streak at Rupp Arena.
This was a matchup of teams that rank 1-2 in NCAA Division 1 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, four days after a 4-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.
Kentucky, despite career highs in points from guards Rajon Rondo (20) and walk-on Ravi Moss (17), lost for the first time at home since falling, 65-59, to Kansas Jan. 9.
Almost half the Tar Heels' shots -- 27 of 60 -- were 3-point attempts. North Carolina finished 10 of 27 from behind the arc, including 3-of-5 performances from David Noel (15 points) and Wes Miller (12 points).
North Carolina led, 71-58, with 7:55 left -- Kentucky's largest deficit of the season -- but Kentucky scored the next 8 points and trailed, 71-66, with 4:22 left.
The Wildcats turned the ball over on their next two trips, while North Carolina picked up a basket by Marcus Ginyard and 3-pointer by Noel, which gave the Tar Heels a 76-66 lead with 2:53 left.
Texas 93, Texas-Arlington 55 -- At Austin, Texas, Daniel Gibson scored a career-high 29 points, P.J. Tucker added 20, and the No. 2 Longhorns improved to 7-0, their best start since opening the 1981-82 season at 14-0.
LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in 14 points as Texas finished 33 of 58 (56.9 percent) from the field for its best shooting night of the season.
Villanova 85, Oklahoma 74 -- Randy Foye had a career-high 32 points for the fourth-ranked Wildcats (4-0) and helped apply defensive pressure that caused the No. 5 Sooners to go cold in the second half in Villanova, Pa.
Taj Gray had 22 points for Oklahoma (4-1) and fellow forward Kevin Bookout added 15. They combined for 27 of the Sooners' 39 second-half points.
Louisville 90, Prairie View A&M 65 -- David Padgett, a transfer from Kansas, had 17 points and 10 rebounds in his first game for Louisville and the No. 7 Cardinals (2-0) cruised in the Colonial Classic in Louisville, Ky.
Memphis 91, Cincinnati 81 -- Freshman Antonio Anderson emerged from his deep shooting slump by scoring 32 points, and the No. 9 Tigers (6-1) beat host Cincinnati for just the second time in their last 10 meetings.
Florida 80, Central Florida 47 -- At Gainesville, Fla., Corey Brewer had 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 steals for the 11th-ranked Gators, who improved to 7-0 for just the third time in school history.
Illinois 65, Xavier 62 -- James Augustine (23 points) and Dee Brown (20) carried the scoring load and helped the No. 12
Michigan St. 72, Ark.-Little Rock 67 -- At Grand Rapids, Mich., Paul Davis scored 17 of his game-high 23 points in the second half and the 13th-ranked Spartans (5-2) used a 16-3 run to break a halftime tie and subdue the Trojans (3-2).
Iowa 72, Valparaiso 59 -- Jeff Horner supplied a season-high 19 points as 14th-ranked Iowa (7-1) captured the Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City for the 20th year in a row.
Houston 69, Arizona 65 -- Oliver Lafayette scored 28 points and the host Cougars (3-1) knocked off the No. 15 Wildcats (2-3), their biggest upset since beating third-ranked Memphis in 1996.
Indiana 79, Eastern Michigan 63 -- At Bloomington, Ind., Robert Vaden scored 18 points and freshman Ben Allen added a career-high 15 for the No. 17 Hoosiers (4-1), who gave coach Mike Davis his 100th career win.
Nevada 77, Pacific 70 -- Nick Fazekas netted 23 points and Mo Charlo had 22 for the visiting Wolf Pack (5-0), who rallied from a 9-point halftime deficit to stay unbeaten.
Alabama 60, Winthrop 57 -- The visiting Eagles led by 4 midway through the second half, but the No. 21 Crimson Tide (4-1) responded behind Chuck Davis, who finished with 22 points.
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 22d-ranked Demon Deacons (7-1) sailed in Greensboro, N.C.