EAST LANSING, Mich. — J.P. Tokoto had 12 points and a career-high 10 rebounds to help North Carolina beat No. 1 Michigan State 79-65 Wednesday night, giving the Tar Heels another impressive victory in their inconsistent season.
The Tar Heels (5-2) have been talented enough to defeat the top-ranked Spartans and then-No. 3 Louisville this season, but they’ve also lost to Belmont and UAB.
Michigan State (7-1) fell to an unranked nonconference team at home for the first time in more than a decade.
The Tar Heels took control from the start, never trailed and used a 12-1 run to take a 65-52 lead with 6:02 left. Kennedy Meeks scored 15 points for North Carolina and Brice Johnson had 14. Marcus Paige and Nate Britt added 13 apiece.
Gary Harris had 17 points and Keith Appling scored 13, but both Michigan State guards missed 10 of 15 shots. Adreian Payne had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Spartans, whose last loss at home against an unranked nonconference team was Toledo on Dec. 30, 2002.
The Tar Heels beat a No. 1 team for the first time since March 4, 2006, at Duke, and they have a nation-high 13 wins over top-ranked teams. They’ve won seven straight against the Spartans, including in the 2009 NCAA final.
No. 5 Ohio State 76, Maryland 60: COLUMBUS, Ohio — LaQuinton Ross scored 17 of his 20 points in the first half, hitting his first four 3-pointers, to send No. 5 Ohio State to an early lead and a 76-60 victory over Maryland on Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Sam Thompson added 14 points, including four rim-rattling dunks, and Lenzelle Smith Jr. had 12. Aaron Craft created havoc on defense and chipped in with 10 points as the Buckeyes (7-0) controlled the game at both ends.
Ex-Xavier guard Dez Wells had 19 points, former Michigan swingman Evan Smotrycz scored 15 and Charles Mitchell added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Maryland (5-3), which had won four in a row after losing two of its first three.
This is Maryland’s last ACC/Big Ten Challenge — well, at least as an ACC team. Next year, the Terrapins join the Buckeyes in the new 14-team Big Ten.
No. 7 Louisville 90, Missouir-Kansas City 62: LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Montrezl Harrell scored 14 points to lead five Louisville players in double figures as the Cardinals routed Missouri-Kansas City.
Facing first-year Kangaroos coach Kareem Richardson, Louisville reminded the former Cardinals assistant what he left behind to take the UMKC job. Though less dominant on offense than in last December’s 99-47 victory over the Kangaroos, the Cardinals (7-1) controlled the game throughout and steadily pulled away in the second half.
They manhandled UMKC 44-24 in the paint, forced 20 turnovers that led to 29 points and outrebounded the Kangaroos 49-29, grabbing 22 on the offensive end.
Chane Behanan came off the bench to score 11 points and grab 11 rebounds. Chris Jones, Russ Smith and Luke Hancock each added 10 points and combined for five of Louisville’s 10 3-pointers.
Nelson Kirksey and Martez Harrison had 14 points apiece for UMKC (1-6).
No. 8 Wisconsin 48, Virginia 38: CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Josh Gasser scored 11 points and Wisconsin won a defensive struggle against Virginia in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, giving coach Bo Ryan his 300th victory with the Badgers.
The Badgers (9-0) extended their best start since opening 11-0 in 1993-94. They limited Virginia to 23 percent shooting (11 for 47), including a stretch of nearly 22 minutes spanning halftime in which the Cavaliers managed just three field goals.
Wisconsin won going away despite shooting only 29 percent (15 for 52).
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