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Off the cuff: Against UNLV, Kendall Marshall looked tired and the Rebels looked like they wanted it more. Tyler Zeller played one of his worst games as a starter as he was fumble fingered. The Tar Heels gave the Rebels too many open threes and could not hit free throws. What is left to say? That all happens and you lose.

UNLV 90, Tar Heels 80
No. 1 no more; Heels lose in Vegas

UNLV went on a 14-0 run at the beginning of the second half to take the lead for good and used 13 three pointers to upset North Carolina 90-80 in the finals of the Las Vegas Invitational. (11/26)

The UNC All-America Harrison Barnes tweaked an ankle during the game. While he came back in to play, he was seen leaving the arena on crutches as a precautionary measure before being re-evaluated in Chapel Hill.

After a back and forth first half, the Tar Heels took a 42-38 halftime lead after scoring on a pair of fast breaks over a 24-second period late in the half. A Kendall Marshall to James Michael McAdoo three-point play and a Bullock bucket after four Heels had touched the ball on the break provided the halftime margin.

But Carolina missed its first 10 shots of the second half while UNLV was going five of eight from the floor, including a pair of threes by Oscar Bellfield, and two of two from the free throw line. The Rebels went from behind four to up 10 at 52-42.

The Tar Heels cut it to five on a couple of occasions in the next 10 minutes but with less than six minutes left, the Rebels had worked the lead up to 77-63, their largest lead of the game.

Carolina made a late run, mostly behind the offense of Harrison Barnes, who was cold most of the game. But Barnes had a chance to cut the deficit back to five with less than a minute to go but he missed both free throws.

During the run, UNLV put up a couple of ill-advised threes but the Rebels got the rebounds on the missed shots and then burned time.

"We never could get our flow offensively," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "Z (Zeller) was out of it early."

Not only did Zeller not play well - missing easy shots, missing free throws and getting balls slapped away from - but he was in foul trouble, getting three fouls in the first 13 minutes. Zeller ended up with just five points on a one of six field goal effort in 24 minutes.

While the Tar Heels missed 13 free throw shots and hit only 42 percent of their field goals, the thing that surprised Coach Williams most was the poor rebounding. A more aggressive UNLV squad outrebounded Carolina 46-37.

"We've got to get a heck of a lot better," Coach Williams said. The Tar Heels will probably be the underdog for the first and possibly only time this season when they travel to Lexington to play Kentucky next Saturday.

P.J. Hairston and Harrison Barnes led Carolina with 15 points each while Chace Stanbeck led UNLV with 28 points, which included four three pointers.


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