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UNC Holds Off Notre Dame for 12th Straight Win, Michigan Seeks Conference Title

Looking for its 12th straight win, No. 14 UNC (23-7, 13-4) didn’t anticipate Notre Dame (15-16, 6-12) would be such a challenge on Monday but they were able to overcome this for a 63-61 victory after a 12-5 late run by the visiting team.

In addition to keeping their win streak alive, the Tar Heels have tied their longest conference streak after going 14-0 in the 1986-87 season and its longest win streak since 2008-2009.

James Michael McAdoo

James Michael McAdoo

For the night, James Michael McAdoo led in scoring for UNC with his 14 points and nine rebounds but a nod of thanks needs to go out to his teammate Marcus Paige, who blocked a shot at the hoop with less four seconds remaining, preventing a possible tying score. This came after Paige, an 89 percent shooter who sits at the top of the ACC, missed two free throws in the last 20 seconds of the game.

Paige had seven points for the night (2 of 8 shooting). This follows last week’s career-high night of 35 points against North Carolina State.

UNC coach Roy Williams said of Monday’s win via the Associated Press, “I said Saturday to have a really good year you’ve got to win some games ugly. I’m tired of winning games ugly. … I really thought we’d have a tremendous sense of urgency today. We played so much harder at practice yesterday than we did in the game today. We learned those lessons earlier in the season but we’ve let them slip by us here the last couple of games.”

As for Notre Dame, Monday’s game represented its last regular season game and now they’ll look ahead to the ACC tournament. In the second half, the team had 54 percent shooting from the field and from solid defense, only allowed UNC 22 points. Playing with a sore ankle, Pat Connaughton scored 17 points (10 to start the second half) with 13 rebounds–a season high.

So who’s next for UNC on their path for a 13th straight win? You couldn’t have asked for a better ending: at No. 4 Duke on Saturday.

The Tar Heels sit at 25/1 to win the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

No. 12 Michigan vs. Illinois

On Tuesday, Michigan (21-7, 13-3) will seek an opportunity to win the Big Ten conference with a victory over Illinois (17-12, 6-10). They can actually thank the Fighting Illini for this as the team upset then No. 18 Michigan State on Saturday, 53-46.

Should this not go their way, Michigan can get a second chance by beating Indiana on Saturday.

Nik Stauskas

Nik Stauskas

The Wolverines will enter Tuesday’s game as the conference’s leader for field-goal percentage (47.7), 3-point shooting (38.9) and free-throw percentage (75.7) and No. 3 for scoring (74.9), according to STATS LLC. However, it is challenged when playing on the road. In their four previous away games, they have averaged 66.5 points from 41.4 percent shooting.

Good luck going up against defensive-minded Illinois. From their four previous games, they have only allowed their opponents less than 50 points–a first since the 1947-48 season. This includes Sparty, who endured 39.1 percent shooting and a season low in point totals on Saturday.

Along with its confidence from Saturday’s win, Illinois has a three-game win streak going after undergoing a 1-10 period. It sits on the bubble and a win over Michigan could help its case as well as a win against No. 24 Iowa on Saturday, paving the way for three straight wins over a ranked team.

The team last won a share of the 2012 Big Ten title and last year, it lost in the the national championship. Michigan entered the season with low expectations and on Tuesday, they’ll continue to overcome this with another win (-3, 124 o/u).

Other Top 25 Games

Georgia Tech at No.7 Syracuse (-14.5)
No.1 Florida (-12, 131.5 o/u) at South Carolina
No.13 Creighton (-3.5, 142 o/u) at Georgetown
No.16 Iowa State at Baylor (-3, 146.5 o/u)
Alabama at No.25 Kentucky(-13, 132.5 o/u)


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