Virginia upsets No. 2 North Carolina

Posted: Monday, February 26, 2001

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Brendan Haywood scoffed at the question, and while doing so, paid Virginia's fans a compliment.

"They were not a factor at all," the 7-footer said of the fans after No. 2 North Carolina lost 86-66 to No. 9 Virginia on Sunday. "We won at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and this was no different than that."

Of course, if Virginia's fans are approaching Duke's Cameron Crazies in volume and intensity, the guys on the floor have a lot to do with it.

"When we play, we can play with anybody in the country," coach Pete Gillen said after the Cavs (19-6, 8-6 ACC) beat a Top 5 team for the third time this season. "We just want to try to be as close to what we did today as many times as we can. That's what the great teams do."

In other games Sunday involving ranked teams, Arkansas defeated No. 13 Kentucky 82-78, No. 11 Kansas edged Nebraska 78-74 and No. 23 St. Joseph's crushed Duquesne 90-70.

Virginia improved to 13-1 at home and has won six straight at Charlottesville, the last five against teams that arrived with a national ranking: Missouri, Maryland, Wake Forest, Duke and the Tar Heels.

And if this wasn't vaunted North Carolina (22-4, 12-2), the suspense would have ended quickly. Virginia led 56-42 at halftime, 76-56 with about 10 minutes left and coasted despite a 5:47 scoreless drought late in the game.

"What we wanted to do in the second half was keep that lead, pressure them and make them try to come to us," said Roger Mason, who finally broke the scoreless spell with four minutes to play. Mason led Virginia with 18 points.

Donald Hand added 17 points, Travis Watson had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Adam Hall and Chris Williams each scored 13. All but Watson made at least one 3-pointer, and Virginia finished 11-for-22 on 3-pointers.

By the final horn, University Hall was doing the delirium shake.

As they had 11 days earlier when the Cavaliers ended a 12-game losing streak against then No. 2-Duke with a 91-89 victory, the orange-clad students stormed the court, and Gillen and some players used the P.A. microphone to thank them for the support.

Some had camped outside the arena for as long as eight days to be certain they would be among the lucky few to get tickets for Sunday.

Two runs -- a 22-6 burst that gave Virginia a 51-37 lead before halftime, and a 10-4 spurt that pushed the margin to 20 midway though the second half -- gave the 10th consecutive sellout crowd plenty to celebrate.

"They were quicker, they jumped higher and they shot the ball better," Tar Heels coach Matt Doherty said of the Cavaliers.

"I don't know why we didn't show more fight. I don't mind losing, but I do mind losing when you don't fight back."

No. 11 Kansas 78, Nebraska 74

Kirk Hinrich scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half, including three free throws in the final minute as No. 11 Kansas held off Nebraska.

Nick Collison had 22 points and nine rebounds for the visiting Jayhawks (21-5, 10-4 Big 12), while Cookie Belcher led Nebraska (13-14, 6-8) with 29 points.

Arkansas 82, No. 13 Kentucky 78

Jannero Pargo hit a key 3-pointer with 1:21 to play, and Arkansas held visiting Kentucky scoreless for nearly three minutes down the stretch to upset the No. 13 Wildcats.

Kentucky (18-8, 11-3 SEC) led by eight points early in the second half, but shot poorly the rest of the way and had its eight-game winning streak stopped.

No. 23 St. Joseph's 90, Duquesne 70

St. Joseph's rallied from nine points down behind Marvin O'Connor's 28 points, and the No. 23 Hawks clinched a tie for the Atlantic 10 regular-season title by beating Duquesne.

Frank Wilkins added 14 points as the Hawks (23-4, 13-1) won their ninth straight and 17th in 18 games, wearing down smaller Duquesne (9-19, 3-12) with their outside shooting and transition game.

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