Kentucky vs. North Carolina final score: Tar Heels impress at home, 82-77

Grant Halverson

James Michael McAdoo got the Wildcats in all kinds of foul trouble, scoring 12 of his 20 points from the free-throw line.

In a game with more lead changes than McDonald's All-Americans, North Carolina edged Kentucky in Chapel Hill, 82-77. The Tar Heels ran the floor and forced Kentucky's bigs to get into foul trouble, getting to the line 43 times in the game.

Leading by a slim margin for most of the second half, UNC exploded at the end of the game due to a series of mistakes by Kentucky. A botched offensive rebound by Julius Randle led to a run-out and two-handed slam by Brice Johnson, opening up a seven-point lead with just over a minute remaining. Missed free throws by the Wildcats allowed UNC to retain that margin and finish off another ranked opponent.

After a slow start, North Carolina settled in at home behind the transition game of J.P. Tokoto and James Michael McAdoo. The forwards combined for 33 points on the day, with McAdoo shooting 19 free throws. Alex Poythress, Julius Randle and Willie Cauley-Stein all spent time on the bench in the second half with foul trouble, allowing the Tar Heels' slashers easy lanes to the basket.

Aaron Harrison was the hot shooter for Kentucky, scoring 20 points on 75 percent shooting. Cauley-Stein, despite the foul trouble, blocked five Tar Heels field goal attempts.

North Carolina has beat Louisville, Michigan State and now Kentucky. Its win column reads like many analysts' pre-season Final Four predictions, all without last season's leading scorer P.J. Hairston.

More from SB Nation College Basketball

"What the f--k is this?": An oral history of Kurtis Blow's "Basketball"

Onions! Talking with talking with Toledo's Tod Kowalzcyk

Michigan's season might get worse before it gets better

The limitless upside of Kansas' Joel Embiid

Andre Dawkins has a story (and he'd rather not talk about it)

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.