Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Carolina Wins Another Close One; Purdue Whips Michigan St.

North Carolina 75 Virginia 74
Tyler Hansbrough's hook shot with 21 seconds left in the game gave North Carolina a 75-71 lead and it turned out to be enough to hold on over feisty Virginia. Sean Singletary scored 27 points to top all scorers and hit a three-pointer with 8 seconds remaining to claw the Cavaliers back to within a point, but it was all they could muster.

For Hansbrough, the little hook shot that gave the Tar Heels a 4-point lead in crunch time was almost routine for the North Carolina star. He finished with a team-high 23 points and 7 rebounds and Roy Williams' kids have ridden his first rate efforts to a couple of close wins in the challenging ACC.

On Sunday, the Tar Heels had to go to double overtime before finally dispatching Clemson, 103-93. North Carolina has five straight games against lower-eschelon teams in the ACC before closing out the regular season March 8 at Duke.

The Blue Devils already have a win over Carolina (a Feb. 6 89-78 win) and have a grip on the top spot in the conference standings. Duke leads at 9-0. The Tar Heels are second at 8-2, followed by 6-3 Maryland and 5-4 Clemson.

Duke hosts Maryland tonight at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Purdue 60 Michigan St. 54
These are tough times for Tom Izzo and his Spartan basketball team. On Tuesday night, they found out that the Boilermakers were for real, dropping their only meeting of the season at Purdue in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the final score indicates.

Outshot, 47 to 38%, the Boilermakers forced Michigan State into a slew of mistakes and turnovers, building a huge lead that left them ahead 34-18 at the break. The Spartans rallied to within one point three times in the second half, but could never draw even or take the lead away.

Frosh Robbie Hummel had another brilliant game, with a career-high 24 points, including 4 of 7 3-pointers. He also grabbed 11 rebounds in an all-around noteworthy effort.

While Purdue improved to 11-1 in the conference and stayed in first place ahead of 9-1 Indiana, the Spartans fell back to 4th at 8-3. Michigan State's losses have all come on the road - at Iowa, Penn State and last night at Purdue.

Indiana hosts 9-2 Wisconsin in tonight's key Big 10 matchup.

#1 Memphis hosts Houston, #2 Duke welcomes Maryland while in the Big East, #17 Notre Dame travels to #20 Connecticut.

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