No. 4 North Carolina beats No. 16 Wisconsin 71-56 in Maui

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24 November, 2016

Five different players committed them, leaving Williams shaking his head or screaming or grimacing or all three at the same time.

The Silverswords were blown out by No. 4 North Carolina in their Maui opener, but used their perimeter shooting to stretch the Huskies on defense and keep them from pulling away.

In a matchup of top 20 teams, the Wisconsin Badgers (4-1) and North Carolina Tar Heels (6-0) will face for the Maui Invitational title Wednesday night in Hawaii after both teams won their first and second round games by double digits.

"We've got a big-time challenge", Williams said.

The Tar Heels, who play against Wisconsin in the Maui Invitational championship game on Wednesday, aren't merely winning.

OSU drops to 4-1 on the season. As well as Bronson Koenig has played early in the season - the senior point guard is averaging a team-high 17.6 points per game - he's only shooting 28.3 percent from beyond the arc (13 of 46).

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas - Miles Bridges had 22 points and 15 rebounds and Nassau native Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn scored a season-high 13 points to lead Michigan State past St. John's in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

Chaminade is a Division II school in Honolulu.

The Tar Heels scored 48 points in the paint and went 25-of-29 from the line.

"I've never seen a national championship on the day before Thanksgiving", Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said.

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Rodney Pryor had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Georgetown withstood a furious second-half rally to hold off OR in the first round of the Maui Invitational.

The Tar Heels looked like they were headed for another runaway victory at the start of the title game, the Badgers like they had been in the sun too long on Kaanapali Beach. Wisconsin shot 43.1% from the field and outrebounded Georgetown by a 50-21 margin.

"I think it's become the identity of this team, and there are times when it's not pretty", Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said.

But North Carolina (6-0) dominated the Cowboys from the start, building a 12-point lead in the opening 4 1/2 minutes.

North Carolina continued to manhandle the Badgers defensively, highlighted by Brandon Robinson's track-him-down blocked shot off the backboard on Koenig midway in the second half. The Wolfpack showed they're capable of competing with the big boys when they took Clemson to overtime, and NC State should be able to shut down the run and make UNC one-dimensional on offense. Ethan Happ added 16 points for the Badgers. He will face one of his stiffest tests of the season against a UNC passing defense that is ranked 12th in the country, giving up an average of 178.5 yards per contest. On the season, North Carolina is averaging 97 ppg on 52.3% shooting from the field and 40.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Imagine how good the Tar Heels can be when forwards Luke Maye and Theo Pinson return from injuries.

North Carolina forward Kennedy Meeks (3) shoots as Chaminade guard Kiran Shastri (33) defends in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game in the Maui Invitational, Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, in Lahaina, Hawaii.

With No. 3 IN losing to Fort Wayne, expect the Tar Heels to move up at least one spot, maybe more.

Eron Harris added 14 points and seven rebounds and freshman Nick Ward had nine points and 11 rebounds for the Spartans (3-2), who advance to meet No. 20 Baylor in Thursday's semifinals.

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) - Marcus Foster scored 25 points, and Creighton had to rally in the second half to beat MS in the championship game of the Paradise Jam tournament.


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