Jayhawks tame Huskies with impressive intensity Connecticut can
They watched the final minutes across the Connecticut bench. Doron Sheffer. Travis Knight. Kevin Ollie. Ray Allen. Donny Marshall.
The seconds ticked down on humiliation, ticked down on a basketball beating, and the taunts of “Overrated . . . Overrated,” descended down upon the nation’s second-ranked team.
For once, the Huskies had no counters, no answers. No response. Adversity was thrust upon them Saturday inside Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo., and the flawless season was suddenly flawed. Connecticut had lost, 88-59, to Kansas, and make no mistake: The carnage of these two hours was catastrophic.
“To sit there at the end,” Knight said, “and look up at the scoreboard and see that . . . to see that . . . it was just very difficult.”
There will be no No. 1 ranking for the Huskies (15-1) this week. With Massachusetts struggling to defeat West Virginia in Morgantown, W. Va., Friday night, the circumstances were right for them to assume the top spot in the poll with a victory over Kansas.
Yet the Huskies lost for the first time Saturday, and the inevitable had never been so excruciating. The Jayhawks (15-2) were everything the Huskies had been for most of the season suffocating defensively, precise on offense and never did they relent.
“The best display of intensity,” Kansas coach Roy Williams said, “that I’ve seen us play with all season.”
The Jayhawks made shots with defenders draped upon them, with defenders doing everything they could. Jerod Haase, who had 20 points, swished three of his four three- pointers in the first half when the Jayhawks converted seven of their eight. (AP rankings in parentheses)
(3) North Carolina 62, (16) at Wake Forest 61 North Carolina found yet another way to win with defense. Donald Williams hit a running one-hander in the lane with 5.7 seconds left to end the scoring, but it was North Carolina’s defense that made the difference. The Tar Heels held Wake Forest without a basket for more than 10 minutes in the second half and forced a key turnover down the stretch.
The Atlantic Coast Conference-leading Tar Heels (16-1, 6-1) are 7-0 this season against ranked teams after extending their winning streak to seven.
Tim Duncan of Wake Forest (11-4, 4-3) led all scorers with 18 points. He also had 17 rebounds and seven blocked shots, but the sophomore center’s five-second violation on an inbounds gave the ball to North Carolina with 25.9 seconds left and helped set up Williams’ winning shot.
California 100, at (4) UCLA 93 Tremaine Fowlkes scored nine points in a 14-3 second-half run on his way to a career-high 24 points for the Golden Bears.
California (11-5, 3-4 Pacific- 10), the only team to beat UCLA at home last season, won its third straight at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA (12-2, 6-2) had its six- game winning streak snapped.
At (8) Maryland 74, Duke 72 Keith Booth scored a career- high 22 points, including the go- ahead basket with 1:03 left, and Joe Smith blocked two shots in the final 26 seconds as the Terrapins (16-3, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) ended their 15- game losing streak against the Blue Devils (10-9, 0-7).
At (11) Iowa State 87, Kansas State 79 Fred Hoiberg scored 20 of his game-high 26 points in the second half for the Cyclones (17-2, 3-1 Big Eight), who are off to their best start in school history. Hoiberg and Loren Meyer accounted for all but six of Iowa State’s second-half points.
At (14) Georgetown 71, Pittsburgh 60 The Hoyas (14-3, 7-2 Big East) struggled throughout the game, and the Panthers (5-12, 1-8) never trailed by more than five points in the second half until Allen Iverson sank a pair of free throws to make it 62-56 with 1:47 to play.
(17) Stanford 85, at Southern California 82 The Cardinal (13-3, 4-3 Pacific-10) had to hang on after blowing most of a 17-point lead. Cameron Murray banked in a three-pointer with 34 seconds to play to make it 83-79, but USC (7-11, 2-6) could get no closer until Murray hit another three-pointer with 2.5 seconds left.
At (23) Florida 72, Mississippi 57 The Gators (10-6, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) trailed by as many as 10 points midway through the second half before ending the game with a 19-5 run to beat Mississippi (5-12, 1-7).
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