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Top 10 UK-UNC highlights of decade

12/13/2013

Ranking the wins and losses of the Kentucky series during the last 10 seasons, which coincides with the Roy Williams era at North Carolina:

The UNC wins

1. The first Noel

Dec. 3, 2005: UNC 83, UK 79

No play epitomized Carolina’s surprise upset the way David Noel’s baseline dunk summed up the entire game. UK and Rajon Rondo never saw it coming as the unranked and unheralded Heels, who lost seven players from the 2005 national championship team, beat the No. 10 Wildcats in Lexington. Reyshawn Terry scored a career-high 25 points for UNC.

2. Zeller goes off

Dec. 4, 2010: UNC 75, UK 73

Tyler Zeller had 27 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and went 10-for-10 from the free throw line. The unranked Tar Heels stumbled into the game with a 4-3 record but regained their swagger after knocking off the No. 10 Wildcats and later advanced to the Elite Eight.

3. Raise your hands

Dec. 4, 2004: UNC 91, UK 78

Williams asked his team in practice to raise their hands if they’d ever beaten Kentucky. Only the coaching staff had that experience until the Heels broke their four game losing streak in the series. A season after being held to just four points against UK, Rashad McCants scored 28 as the Heels cruised.

4. No Hansbrough, no problem

Nov. 18, 2008: UNC 77, UK 58

Deon Thompson scored 20 as the Tyler Hansbrough-less Heels, ranked No. 1, ran out to a 16-point lead and easily beat Kentucky. It was the final appearance for coach Billy Gillispie in the series.

5. Pulling the starters

Dec. 2, 2006: UNC 75, UK 63

Williams yanked his starting five early in the second half when they didn’t hustle on 50-50 plays. When he inserted the starters back in the lineup, Carolina had an 11-2 run and wasn’t threatened the rest of the game. Freshman Wayne Ellington led the Heels with 17 points.

6. Still No. 1

Dec. 1, 2007: UNC 86, UK 77

Carolina led by as many as 20 in winning its first game as the No. 1-ranked team against UK since 1981. Reserve Danny Green scored a career-high 20 points in Lexington.

The UNC losses

1. Frustrated and fouled out

March 27, 2011: UK 76, UNC 69

John Henson was just two blocks shy of tying Brendan Haywood’s single-season record, but foul trouble kept him from being a factor in the game. Henson got his fourth foul with 16 minutes left in the game and sat most of the second half of the East Regional final. Carolina was within 1 when DeAndre Liggins delivered a 3-point dagger with 35 seconds left. The Cats denied Roy Williams his fourth Final Four trip while at Carolina.

2. Block heard round the Commonwealth

Dec. 3, 2011: UK 73, UNC 72

Anthony Davis blocked Henson’s shot with seven seconds left and the stunned Heels didn’t react to foul as time ran out against the No. 1 Wildcats. The initial play went into Zeller on the blocks, but he lost control of the ball and it landed in Henson’s hands.

3. Fitch from 3

Jan. 3, 2004: UK 61, UNC 56

Gerald Fitch’s fadeaway 3-pointer with 23 seconds left capped the Wildcats’ comeback from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Carolina in Williams’ first season in Chapel Hill.

4. Great Wall of Rupp

Dec. 5, 2009: UK 68, UNC 66

Carolina’s rally from a 19-point deficit came up short as Raleigh native John Wall scored 16 points had seven rebounds and seven assists in the first win in the series for John Calipari.