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NCAAB: Duke remains on top and Tar Heels have impressive win

The NCAA Men’s basketball season will soon take center stage as the football season has less than a week left. The Duke Blue Devils remained the top team in the ACC and the nation again this week, but they should be looking over their shoulders as the North Carolina Tar Heels are charging back, while Haws takes best of the week honors and UCLA wins at home against Missouri.

Duke no. 1

The Duke Blue Devils remained no. 1 in the nation for the third consecutive week. The Blue Devils are 12-0 on the season and received all but two of the first place votes from the media panel of 65. Michigan was second, Arizona third, Louisville fourth and Indiana rounded out the top 5. Minnesota broke into the top 10 at no. 9 for the just the first time in 16 years. Michigan, who is 13-0 on the season, received the other two first place ballots.

Tar Heels Signal Return with win over UNLV

Earlier in the year, the Tar Heels lost three times and were embarrassed in each loss. In Maui, Butler led the Heels at one point by 29 points before they rallied to lose by just 11. Indiana showed North Carolina they were not varsity level by knocking them off by 24 points and then Texas left North Carolina reeling after beating them by 18.

Saturday, the Tar Heels faced the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels who are ranked no. 20 in the country. North Carolina was without Reggie Bullock who had a concussion. He leads the team in three point baskets and is second overall in scoring. Nevertheless, the Tar Heels won 79-73 playing tough basketball. The Tar Heels were able to withstand a second half run by UNLV that gave the Rebels the lead, but North Carolina held tough and bent but did not break. Let’s hope that is a sign of things to come.

Week’s Best Player

Last week’s best player in the NCAA was Tyler Haws from BYU. The sophomore guard who is 6’5” has played well for quite some time without being noticed. On Saturday, Haws scored 42 points against Virginia Tech. He had 29 by half time as the Cougars coasted to a 97-71 win. He made 6 of this 8 three point shots and overall 14 of his 25 shots.

Haws also was 8 for 9 from the free throw line. Thus far, on the season, Haws has a 21-point average and is averaging three assists and five rebounds per game. What makes his play even more impressive is that Haws was away for two years on his Mormon mission until this past April. During those two years, Haws did not pick up a basketball.

Best Game of the Week

The UCLA Bruins defeated the Missouri Tigers 97-94 in overtime. The Bruins, like North Carolina, had already lost three times before meeting the Tigers and needed a win to help Ben Howland. Shabazz Muhammad had 27 points in the game and teammate Travis Wear added 22. UCLA forced the Tigers into 17 turnovers. Coach Howland decided to let his players play more up-tempo in the game and the change obviously helped. With the win, UCLA shows they can play with the best even though they are young. The other Pac-12 teams better take notice.

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