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December 8, 2002 Columns No Comments

The Morning Dish – Sunday, December 8th, 2002

by Phil Kasiecki

On another busy Saturday in the world of college basketball, the headline matchup was that featuring the two winningest programs in the history of college basketball, as No. 19 Kentucky traveled to Chapel Hill to take on No. 13 North Carolina. For the third season in a row, the Wildcats came out on top, this time by a score of 98-81 as they shot a scorching 63% from the field.

Gerald Fitch and Marquis Estill led an 18-2 run to start the second half, turning a 43-40 halftime deficit into a 58-45 lead. Fitch finished with a career-high 25 points, and Estill and Keith Bogans each had 20. Rashad McCants led the Tar Heels in defeat with another excellent outing, scoring 22.

The game served to highlight the importance of freshman point guard Raymond Felton. Just over 2 minutes into the second half, he picked up his fourth foul, with the Wildcats leading 50-45. When he returned, the lead was up to 11, and the Tar Heels would get no closer the rest of the way. Felton had 18 points and 7 assists.

The game marked the first time since 1993 that North Carolina allowed an opponent to shoot better than 60 percent from the field.

Side Dishes

Battle In the City of Brotherly Love: The Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania was the site of the Big 5 Classic, three games featuring all six Division I teams from Philadelphia. See the article above for full coverage.

Hey, We Can Do This Too: Not to be outdone, Madison Square Garden was also home to a tripleheader of college hoops action. Yale edged Manhattan, 70-69, to start the day. Georgia Tech beat Marist, 67-53, to improve to 4-1. St. John’s capped off the day by blowing out Fordham, 81-58.

Irish Eyes Are Watching: Notre Dame continued a strong week with a 79-67 upset of No. 10 Maryland in the BB&T classic at the MCI Center. The Irish held the Terps to 37.1% shooting and got 20 points and 8 rebounds from freshman Torin Francis. Notre Dame (7-1) will take on No. 2 Texas in the final, as the Longhorns improved to 5-0 with a 100-92 win over George Washington.

Call It Even: No. 11 Kansas traveled to Portland to take on No. 6 Oregon in a rematch of last season’s Midwest Regional final. This time the Ducks came away victorious, 84-78. Luke and Luke led the way, with Ridnour scoring 25 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and handing out 9 assists, and Jackson had a game-high 26 points and 9 rebounds as the Ducks improve to 5-0 while Kansas now sits at 3-3.

Tonight’s Menu:

• Notre Dame looks to finish a great week as they take on No. 2 Texas in the BB&T final.

• No. 7 Florida heads south to take on in-state rival South Florida.

• No. 17 Minnesota tries to remain undefeated as they visit Nebraska.

• No. 21 Michigan State hosts Cleveland State.

That’s it for this Sunday. Enjoy!

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