The North Carolina Tar Heels missed six of their first seven shots and made just two of its first 13 on Tuesday night, and a hot Florida State Seminoles start seemed to put North Carolina into the same kind of funk that mired the team early this season. But Kennedy Meeks got hot, as did Marcus Paige, and that was enough to lift North Carolina to an 81-75 road win, its seventh straight victory.
Meeks finished with a career-high 23 points and seven rebounds—the freshman center has scored a combined 20 points in his last four games—and Paige got the hot hand at the right time, scoring 16 in the second half to finish with 20.
Florida State, which has now lost six of its last eight (with both wins coming over Virginia Tech), started out hot, leading 21-6 early on. North Carolina slowly worked its way back in the game, and Meeks scored the Tar Heels' final eight points of the half to cut Florida State's lead to 36-33 at the break.
North Carolina never led in the first half, and it took its first lead of the game at 57-55 with 10 minutes to play. The Tar Heels were 19-of-28 in the second half, thanks in part to Paige's hot hand on the perimeter and to the endless foul trouble in which Florida State's front line found itself in during the second half.
Tar Heels forward James Michael McAdoo fouled out after 13 scoreless minutes. Two players fouled out for each team.
The win was North Carolina coach Roy Williams' 300th. He reached 300 wins in 386 games, setting a record among ACC coaches for fewest games to reach the mark. Dean Smith previously held the record with 300 wins in his first 406 games.
Baylor redeems disastrous regulation-ending turnover with 70-64 overtime win over Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State has not played well lately. The Cowboys have lost six in a row, and Monday's game at Baylor was their third of three games without Marcus Smart since his suspension following his infamous dustup with a fan against Texas Tech on Feb. 8. The odds were not in Oklahoma State's favor with 2.8 seconds left. Baylor led 58-55 and was inbounding the ball. Then, this happened.
That's Leyton Hammonds, he who had not hit a three since Nov. 8, with the game-tying three as time expired in regulation.
But the Cowboys were gassed, and the team that had relied so heavily on Markel Brown and Phil Forte III couldn't get enough out of those two in overtime to keep up with the Bears. Brown finished with 26, and Forte had 20, but the rest of Oklahoma State was 7 of 23 from the floor in the loss. Baylor outscored Oklahoma State 12-6 in overtime.
With the win, Baylor is now 17-9 and 5-8 in Big 12 play. Despite the midseason trench the Bears are still fighting to work out of, their schedule still has plenty of room for quality wins that would put it back in the conversation for an at-large NCAA tournament berth.
Oklahoma State has now lost seven in a row.
Other nationally televised finals
USC Upstate Spartans 66, Stetson Hatters 48
Southern Jaguars 83, Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils 74