PORTLAND, ORE. — Tom Izzo finally got the better of Roy Williams with a record performance Michigan State would like to replicate — and North Carolina would rather soon forget.
Sometimes playing ugly still matters.
“What I think this does is reassure our guys,” Izzo said. “The way basketball is right now, it’s all the pretty boys stuff but at the end of the day most of the good teams are still winning by doing the dirty work.”
Joshua Langford made five 3-pointers and scored 23 points and No. 4 Michigan State used a record-setting defensive performance to topple No. 9 North Carolina 63-45 on Sunday night to win the “Victory Bracket” of the PK80 Invitational.
Izzo bested North Carolina for the first time with Williams in charge in Chapel Hill by holding the Tar Heels to the worst shooting performance in school history. The Tar Heels shot 24.6 percent. They were 1 of 18 on 3s, also the worst effort in the school’s history. The 45 points tied for the second-fewest scored by the Tar Heels with Williams as head coach.
In the three games in Portland, the Spartans allowed 57, 51 and 45 points. They imposed themselves on the defensive end, bullying the opposition. Shots were contested. Lanes were clogged. The Spartans made nothing easy and it was capped by a record performance against the Tar Heels that left Williams apologetic.
“So far this year the freshmen haven’t necessarily played like freshmen. Today the freshmen played lime freshmen, and the sophomores, juniors and seniors played like freshmen. And the coach coached like he’d never seen a game of basketball in his life,” Williams said. “Other than that, it’s not a bad night.”
Langford was key in the first half as the Spartans (5-1) built a 13-point halftime lead despite Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr. being limited with foul trouble. Langford had 14 points in the first half as Michigan State used an 11-4 run to take control and were never threatened by the Tar Heels.
Bridges finished with 11 points and the Spartans felt they got a bit of redemption after stumbling in their first matchup with a top 10 team losing 88-81 to Duke on Nov. 14.
“This is a great team win because we won the game on the defensive end,” Langford said.
Theo Pinson led North Carolina (5-1) with 16 points, but Joel Berry II and Luke Maye both had awful nights. The Tar Heels trimmed the 21-point deficit to 12 with 4:30 left, but Bridges stemmed the run with a driving layup.
Maye had been brilliant to start the season for North Carolina but was 3 of 13 shooting, missed five free throws and finished with just eight points. Michigan State challenged seemingly every shot in the paint and the Tar Heels had no outside shooting.
Berry was 2 of 11 overall. The Tar Heels had more turnovers (16) than field goals (15).
“They punched us right in the mouth and we just let them punch us and didn’t fight back at all,” Berry said. “They just took us out of what we wanted to do.”
North Carolina’s night was so awful even the easiest plays became difficult. Kenny Williams made a fine interception of a pass in the first half but his breakaway layup caromed off the front rim and Winston drilled a 3-pointer at the other end to push Michigan State’s lead to 33-17. Late in the second half, Maye was wide open on a drive down the lane, yet his layup didn’t even touch the rim, his 10th miss of the game.
North Carolina shot 7 of 30 (23 percent) in the first half and Berry’s desperation flip at the halftime buzzer was the Tar Heels’ only 3-pointer of the night.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels continued their streak of making at least one 3-pointer to 713 straight games dating to 1997. Barely. Berry’s 30-footer to end the first half was the only make and the Tar Heels performance was worse than a 1 for 16 shooting night on 3s against Duke.
Michigan State: Bridges appeared mostly recovered from the sprained left ankle that had limited the preseason All-American in the first two games of the tournament. Bridges played 26 minutes and had five rebounds.
WAS IT THE HOODIE?
Izzo had an unexpected look for the game, wearing a lightweight Michigan State hoodie rather than the collared golf shirt that most other coaches wore for the tournament.
“I’ll probably go back to dressing up a little more. I kind of like this outfit. Things don’t get in your way when you’re trying to explain to an official how bad a call he made,” Izzo joked.
The Tar Heels had won 11 straight games dating to last season when they lost to Duke in the ACC tournament.
North Carolina: Host Michigan on Wednesday night.
Michigan State: Host Notre Dame on Thursday night.
More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25
Top-ranked Duke rallies for 87-84 victory over No. 7 Florida
PORTLAND, ORE. — Marvin Bagley III had a simple explanation for No. 1 Duke’s incredible late rally against No. 7 Florida.
“We just have heart,” the 6-foot-11 freshman sensation said. “That’s pretty much all it is.”
Bagley had 30 points and 15 rebounds, and the Blue Devils came back from a 17-point deficit with 10 minutes left to beat the Gators 87-84 on Sunday night for the Motion Bracket championship at the Phil Knight Invitational tournament.
Fellow freshman Gary Trent Jr., who had a pair of free throws that pulled the Blue Devils (8-0) in front and a key steal in the final moments, finished with 15 points.
Jalen Hudson had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Florida (5-1), while KeVaughn Allen added 17 points.
Duke closed within 78-70 on consecutive jumpers from Wendell Carter Jr. and a pair of free throws from Bagley. Grayson Allen’s 3-pointer got Duke to 82-79 with 3:07 left, putting the Blue Devils fans on their feet.
Bagley’s layup closed the gap to 84-83 and Trent made free throws to put Duke in front 85-84 with 1:12 left.
Hudson missed a free throw to tie it before Trent’s steal with 12 seconds left. Trent made another pair from the line for the final margin.
“We started playing hard,” Bagley said about the turnaround. “Now the next step is trying to figure out we can do that in the beginning instead of having to fight back the whole time. That can get stressful sometimes. We just got keep continuing to learn and get better. I think we’ll figure it out.”
The teams were among the 16 Nike teams that took part in the three-day tournament, dubbed the PK80, that started on Thanksgiving and took a hiatus Saturday for college football. Fourth-ranked Michigan State beat defending NCAA champion North Carolina 63-45 earlier in the evening in the Victory Bracket.
The event honored Nike co-founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday.
Both Florida and Duke were coming off hard-fought overtime victories.
The Gators defeated No. 7 Gonzaga 111-105 in double overtime on Friday night to advance. Hudson had a career-high 35 points, 31 of them coming in the second half.
Florida opened the tournament with a 108-87 victory over Stanford.
The five-time NCAA champion Blue Devils defeated Texas 85-78 in overtime on Friday, led by Bagley with 34 points and 15 rebounds. Duke opened the tournament with a 99-81 victory over Portland State on Thanksgiving.
“I think fatigue played a factor for both teams,” Florida coach Mike White said. “They’re tired too and they’re young. We’re not having any excuses. I thought Duke defended at a high level, I’m guessing, the last six, eight minutes of the game. I thought they tightened up and forced some contested ones late.”
Egor Koulechov, a graduate transfer from Rice, hit a 3-pointer that put the Gators up 16-4 early. KeVaughn Allen added a layup to extend it.
Grayson Allen made consecutive 3-pointers to give the Blue Devils a 42-37 lead with 4:20 left in the half, capping a 22-5 run. The Gators went back ahead 49-48 on Chris Chiozza’s layup, and ended the half on a 14-2 run to lead 53-49 at the break.
Florida’s momentum continued in the second half, opening with an 8-2 run to go up 61-51. Hudson’s layup capped an 11-0 burst that extended the Gators’ lead to 72-57.
“Your blood pressure is a lot higher when you don’t have good players than it is when you have good players. We have very talented players,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “I believe in my guys.”
The teams last played on Dec. 6, 2016, in the Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden, with Duke coming out on top 84-74. Duke leads the all-time series 13-4.
The Gators have defeated a top-ranked team twice in the team history. Florida beat then-No. 1 Duke in the 2000 Sweet 16, and then No. 1 Ohio State for the 2007 NCAA Tournament championship.
Duke: Wendell Carter had four double-doubles through the first eight games, but he picked up three fouled early against Florida.
Florida: Hudson is a transfer from Virginia Tech. With his 13th point of the night, KeVaughn Allen reached 1,000 for his career.
UNCLE PHIL: Knight was presented with a special commemorative PK80 trophy during a break in the first half, earning a standing ovation from the crowd at the Moda Center. Nike’s corporate headquarters are in Beaverton, just west of Portland.
COACH K ON BAGLEY: “Because he’s 6-11 and he can guard five positions and he put up two 30 and 15 games in a row as a freshman. Other than that he’s similar to many players that I’ve had,” Krzyzewski said, drawing laughter from reporters.
Duke visits Indiana on Wednesday night.
Florida is off until Dec. 4 when the Gators host Florida State.
Duke now unanimous No. 1, Arizona falls out of new AP Top 25
Duke pulled off two big comebacks to become the unanimous No. 1 in the AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll. Now Arizona could use one of its own from a holiday-tournament stumble that dropped the Wildcats from No. 2 to out of the poll in a week.
The Blue Devils (8-0) were atop all 65 ballots in results released Monday after they won the PK80 Invitational’s Motion Bracket in Portland, Oregon. They picked up the 11 first-place votes that last week went to Arizona, with the Wildcats (3-3) turning in a stunning 0-3 showing in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.
That made them the first team to go from No. 2 to unranked in a week since Louisville in 1986-87 after its own November tournament flop in the Great Alaska Shootout.
Kansas moved up to No. 2, followed by three teams that won Thanksgiving week tournaments: Michigan State (PK80 Invitational Victory Bracket), Villanova (Atlantis ) and Notre Dame (Maui Invitational).
Florida checked in at No. 6, followed by Kentucky, Wichita State, Texas A&M and Miami to round out the top 10.
It ultimately took only a month for the Blue Devils to convince all the poll voters that they’re the nation’s top team. They had roughly half the first-place votes (33) in the preseason poll, climbed to 54 votes after beating then-No. 2 Michigan State in the Champions Classic in Chicago — and now own them all.
That came after Duke rallied from 16 down to beat Texas in overtime and then from 17 down to beat the Gators in their PK80 bracket championship game late Sunday, with star freshman Marvin Bagley III turning in huge performances (34 points and 15 rebounds against Texas, 30 points and 15 rebounds against Florida).
“It’s November, whatever happens we have to use it as the process of growth,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said afterward. “Our goal is to keep getting better.”
Reigning national champion North Carolina slid from No. 9 to No. 13 after its first loss since last season.
The Tar Heels (5-1) lost 63-45 to the Spartans in the PK80 Invitational Victory finale while shooting a program-record-low 24.6 percent. It was their first loss since falling to Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinals in March, snapping an 11-game winning streak that included their win against Gonzaga for the 2017 title in Glendale, Arizona.
Notre Dame (6-0) made the biggest leap, climbing eight spots after rallying to beat Wichita State in the Maui title game. Texas A&M (6-0) was up seven spots from No. 16 to No. 9 after a road win at then-No. 10 Southern California. And Baylor (5-0) jumped from No. 22 to No. 16.
Arizona’s farewell aside, Xavier (5-1) took the biggest fall by going from No. 15 to No. 21 after losing to Arizona State in the Las Vegas Invitational title game. USC (4-1) slid four spots from No. 10 to No. 14 after the Texas A&M loss.
The Top 25 welcomed five new teams this week: No. 18 Virginia, No. 20 Arizona State, No. 22 Texas Tech, No. 23 TCU and No. 25 Creighton.
Joining Arizona on the list of teams falling out of the poll were Purdue (No. 18 last week), Seton Hall (from No. 20), St. Mary’s (from 21st) and UCLA (from 23rd).
For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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