North Carolina falls and SEC takes another hoops hit

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Interesting night in college basketball last night. After beating Kentucky last Saturday, North Carolina lost at home to Texas. Baylor, which beat the Cats on Dec. 6, needed overtime to hold off Northwestern State. Connecticut fell from the unbeaten ranks. And the SEC took another hit as Tennessee lost at home to North Carolina State.

After Carolina’s 87-83 loss to the Longhorns at Dean Smith Center, Roy Williams ordered a midnight practice. One problem. The NCAA doesn’t allow midnight practices, reports Andrew Carter of the Charlotte Observer.

“I told them I better check the NCAA rules,” Williams said. “So we cannot practice at midnight tonight. We cannot practice until 5 a.m., and everybody’s (butt) will be in at 5 a.m. this morning. Everybody’s whole body will.”

The Tar Heels made just 24 of 47 free throws for 51.1 percent in the loss. They were outrebounded 51-42. They shot 38.5 percent from the floor. All are prescriptions for defeat.

North Carolina did get Leslie McDonald back after being cleared by the NCAA. No such luck for P.J. Hairston, who is still facing eligibility issues.

Texas is now 10-1, by the way. The Longhorns’ lone loss was to BYU.

Tennessee dropped to 6-4 with its loss to Mark Gottfried at the Wolfpack. The Vols shot an atrocious 29.4 percent from the floor. Cuonzo Martin’s team took 24 three-pointers and made three. Jordan McRae scored 21 points but was three-of-12 from beyond the arc.

T.J. Warren scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Wolfpack, who led Tennessee 37-20 at the half. North Carolina State has won six straight games since losing to North Carolina Central way back on Nov. 20.

Baylor got 22 points from Cory Jefferson and 20 from Kenny Chery, but needed an extra period to beat a Northwestern State team that is now 4-6. Chery missed a layup at the end of regulation which allowed the game to reach overtime. Baylor is now 9-1.

Stanford banished Connecticut from the unbeaten ranks 53-51. Chasson Randle scored 22 points for the Cardinal. Talk about an ugly game. Stanford shot 35 percent. UConn shot 31.7 percent. It was Stanford’s first road win over a Top 25 team since 2008. And Johnny Dawkins’ team continues its road trip Saturday night at Michigan.

Derek Kellogg and UMass improved to 10-0 with an 83-71 win over Ohio. Maxie Esho came off the bench to score 16 for the Minutemen. UMass plays Florida State on Saturday.

LSU held off host Texas Tech for a 71-69 win in Lubbock. Tubby Smith’s Red Raiders dropped to 7-4. LSU is now 7-2, its losses coming to unbeaten UMass and Memphis. Anthony Hickey led the way with 16 points last night for the Tigers, who play host to UAB on Saturday.

Marshall Henderson scored 26 points as Ole Miss ran its record to 8-2 with a 75-62 win over Louisiana-Monroe. Henderson made six of 13 three-pointers and eight of nine free throws. Ole Miss plays host to Mercer on Sunday, then travels to Western Kentucky on December 30.

SEC men’s basketball schedule

Thursday, December 19

  • Gardner-Webb at Georgia 11:30 AM
  • USC Upstate at South Carolina 4:00 PM
  • UT Martin at Arkansas 8:00 PM
  • Clemson at Auburn 8:00 PM FSN
  • Fla. Gulf Coast at Mississippi St. 9:00 PM CSS

Saturday, December 21

  • Belmont at Kentucky 12:00 PM ESPU
  • W. Carolina at Georgia 2:00 PM CSS
  • Georgia Tech at Vanderbilt 4:00 PM FSN
  • Florida at Fresno St. 4:30 PM FSN
  • UAB at LSU 5:00 PM
  • Missouri at Illinois 5:30 PM ESPN2
  • Xavier at Alabama 7:00 PM CSS
  • Texas A&M at Oklahoma 7:00 PM ESPNU
  • South Alabama at Arkansas 8:00 PM

SEC men’s basketball strength of schedules

  • South Carolina – 22
  • Florida – 53
  • Alabama – 67
  • LSU – 68
  • Arkansas – 88
  • Tennessee – 145
  • Kentucky – 153
  • Ole Miss – 157
  • Vanderbilt – 221
  • Missouri – 270
  • Georgia – 330
  • Auburn – 340
  • Texas A&M – 350
  • Mississippi State – 351

Source: Jeff Sagarin’s college basketball ratings 

 

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