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Off the cuff: In the second half, North Carolina disappeared offensively for five and a half minutes, missing 10 shots in a row. That proved too much to overcome I suppose as Kentucky beat the Tar Heels in Lexington.

While Tyler Zeller hit six of six free throws, he also is still having trouble fumbling the ball down low. Kentucky obviously watched game film as they collapsed on him with double teams to fluster him. At the end of the game, Marshall got the ball to Zeller midway down the paint in good position for a basket or a foul. But, as he has done too much this season, he fumbled with it and popped it up in the air. Henson got the rebound and had a short jumper for the victory, only to have his shot blocked.

Kentucky 73, Tar Heels 72
Wildcats block Carolina's way to No. 1

In a December game worthy of March, North Carolina couldn't overcome turnovers and foul trouble as Kentucky's Anthony Davis blocked a short jumper by UNC's John Henson with six seconds left to give the No. 1 Wildcats a 73-72 win at Rupp Arena. (12/3)

The Heels used the three-point shot in the first half, including back-to-back triples from P.J. Hairston, to get up by nine at 34-25. The Heels still led at the half by a 43-38 score. But in the first two minutes of the second half, Kentucky outscored Carolina 7-2 to tie it at 45-all.

Saddled with three fouls in the first half, UNC's Harrison Barnes drained a three from the left corner to give the Heels a 51-45 advantage. But soon thereafter the Heels went scoreless over five and a half minutes, missing 10 straight shots and the Wildcats tied it at 56-56.

Carolina seemed to right the ship after Kendall Marshall stole the ball and passed to Dexter Strickland who dunked it for a 60-56 lead with 8:43 left. But the Tar Heels were outscored 7-0 over the next two minutes to fall behind 63-60. Despite keeping it close, the Heels would never lead again.

A three from the right corner by UNC's Reggie Bullock made it 73-72 with 48 seconds left. Kentucky's Marquis Teague was fouled with 21 seconds left. He missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Heels rebounded. Marshall moved it upcourt and passed down low to Tyler Zeller, who was quickly double-teamed. Zeller lost control of it and it flew into the hands of Henson who briefly appeared open for a potential short winning shot. But Kentucky's Davis lunged forward and jumped up for the block.

With the seconds dwindling down, the Tar Heels had time to foul but made little effort to do so.

Carolina hit 11 of 18 three-point shots but also turned the ball over 13 times including a key one on an inbounds pass off the hands of Strickland with 1:21 to play.

UNC coach Roy Williams said he was satisfied with the Heels' effort but he said they'd got to play better. "They dominated the post more than I thought they would," he said of the Wildcats. He added that the Carolina players were hurting because they wanted badly to win the game.

"We had a chance to win the game but in the end you have to congratulate Davis for a big-time play," Coach Williams said.

Barnes and Zeller scored 14 each, although Zeller went scoreless in the second half until the six-minute mark. Hairston scored 11 while Henson had 10. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led Kentucky with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

North Carolina, now 6-2, start a nine-game home schedule Tuesday against Evansville.


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