North Carolina and Virginia Win, Miami Loses
The ACC had a decent night in men’s basketball, as North Carolina returned to its winning ways, Virginia held serve, and future members Pittsburgh and Syracuse won. Indeed, the only blemish on the night was Miami losing to Memphis.
For #4 North Carolina, the Tar Heels rebounded from its Kentucky loss by doubling up visiting Evansville, 97-48. In fact, UNC raced out to a 52-22 lead at the half, before coasting to the win. Given the margin of victory, Coach Roy Williams was able to limit the starters to no more than 25 minutes. Amazingly, the rebounding advantage was 59 for UNC and 26 for Evansville. With the win, North Carolina is now 7-2.
Unranked, but hoping to change that, the Virginia Cavaliers improved to 8-1 with a 68-48 win over George Mason. The Cavaliers shot an impressive 60.5% from the field in the win. Sammy Zeglinski led the Cavs with 18 points, while three others chipped in 11.
Miami did not fare as well. Credit the Hurricanes for a decent OOC schedule, but visiting Memphis, ranked #18, spanked Miami 71-54. The game was actually close at the half, with Memphis leading 27-26. But the Tigers’ offense took over in the second half. Will Barton scored 27 points for Memphis, showing that he is not shy by launching 20 shots. Miami’s scoring output was the lowest of the season. The Hurricanes will take their 5-3 record into West Virginia on Saturday.
Future member Pittsburgh improved to 8-1 with a 97-70 win over VMI. The 15th ranked Panthers had 5 players in double figures, led by Ashton Gibbs with 20 points. They also outrebounded VMI 55 to 27, and held VMI to just 36.8% shooting. That is Jamie Dixon basketball at its finest.
Finally, #3 Syracuse got to 9-0 by holding off Marshall, 62-56. For the Orange, 10 players played more than 10 minutes. Although Marshall outrebounded Syracuse (which was not a surprise), the Thundering Herd shot only 33.8% from the field and 20.8% from behind the arc. Syracuse also forced 19 turnovers and had 10 blocks. They won it with defense tonight.