OSU opens eyes with rout of UNC
Sixth-ranked Ohio State spent the last 15 minutes of Wednesday night’s trip to seventh-ranked North Carolina knocking down shots, making the Tar Heels work for every look and ultimately driving the blue-clad home fans toward the exits well before the final horn.
The result was a second attentiongrabbing blowout by the Buckeyes against a ranked opponent, this one handing Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams his most lopsided home loss at UNC.
Duane Washington Jr. had 18 points and Ohio State shot 54% after halftime to beat North Carolina 74-49 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. It came roughly three weeks after the Buckeyes routed then-No. 10 Villanova by 25 points during an unbeaten start.
“I’ll be interested to see how this plays out when we continue to play similar competition over a longer stretch,” Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann said. “I think that’s the real test of your group and how committed you are on that end. But certainly we’ve had a good start.”
E.J. Liddell added 12 points for the Buckeyes (8-0), who led just 29-27 at halftime. But Ohio State’s offense got going while the defense continued making things difficult on the Tar Heels (6-2), just as in the first 20 minutes.
Ohio State outscored UNC 35-13 over the final 15 1⁄2 minutes to break the game open. The lead steadily grew until the Buckeyes had surpassed last January’s 83-62 win by
Louisville here that stood as the Tar Heels’ worst in the Smith Center under Williams, who told reporters: “I have no answers, as evident from what you watched.”
London calling: Michigan and Kentucky have agreed to play a basketball game in London next season as part of a three-year deal that also includes a home-and-home series between the two programs.
Michigan announced the deal Thursday. The teams will play at O2 Arena in London in December 2020.
The teams will meet at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor in 2021 and at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena in 2022.