All Tony Bennett could do was stand there, helpless. Virginia’s head coach was perched on a Dean Smith Center sideline, his arms folded, his lips pursed, lonely among a sea of Carolina blue during the second half of a beatdown, and he must have known that any course of action, any attempts to reverse the tide that was vigorously rolling to and fro in front of him, would have been in vain. There is a certain fusion of mood and style that North Carolina basketball occasionally digs deep for and finds on this court, a mood defined by energy and pizzazz, a style defined by high-flying offense, intense defense and overpowering bigs, that at its most extreme is indomitable.
The college basketball regular season is winding down. Believe it or not, only 11 sleeps separate us from the most magical month of the year for the sport. The upsets, the drama ... it will all be here before you know it. Which means conference races are heating up, winding down and yo-yoing somewhere in between. There are games left on the schedule, of course, so it’s not time to write any team off in conference races yet. But in the Big 12, Kansas secured a massive road win over Baylor to all but seal a 13th straight conference crown for Bill Self, fittingly on the same day he was named a finalist for the Hall of Fame. Elsewhere, No. 1 Villanova Wildcats clinched at least a share of the Big
Coach Avery Johnson applauded Alabama's performance all around even if the New Orleans native wasn't quite prepared to break out in a Mardi Gras-style celebration. Riley Norris and Ar'Mond Davis paced the Crimson Tide to a big halftime lead and 'Bama beat struggling LSU 90-72 without really getting challenged on Saturday. The Tide (16-10, 9-5 Southeastern Conference) matched the team's season-high in points and built a 19-point halftime lead up to 26 after Norris and Davis had already done most of their damage.