Not close as No. 1 Heels defeat Kentucky, 77-58

Deon Thompson scored a career-high 20 points to help top-ranked North Carolina beat Kentucky, 77-58, last night despite playing yet again without National Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough.

Wayne Ellington had 16 points for the host Tar Heels (2-0), who led by double figures barely four minutes into the game and never looked back in a matchup of the winningest programs in men's college basketball.


Patrick Patterson had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wildcats (0-2), who had 28 turnovers in their second straight mistake-prone performance.

North Carolina didn't really need Hansbrough, who has missed almost three weeks of practice with a shin injury. Hansbrough sat out Saturday's opening win against Pennsylvania. It was the first game the senior had missed in his career.


The game drew actress Ashley Judd, a noted Kentucky fan who made good on a pledge to attend the game during a campaign stop in Chapel Hill last month to support President-elect Barack Obama. Judd had promised to sit among the light blue-clad students for the game if the state - which hadn't cast its electoral votes for a Democrat since 1976 - voted for Obama.

NO. 12 OKLAHOMA 82, NO. 21 DAVIDSON 78: : Blake Griffin scored 25 points and pulled down a career-high 21 rebounds, freshman Willie Warren added 20 points and the host Sooners (3-0) overcame the highest-scoring game of Stephen Curry's career. Curry, who scored 44 points on 12-for-29 shooting and went 6-for-15 from three-point range, tried to will his team back from a 21-point deficit in the second half and got the Wildcats (2-1) within three points with a three-pointer in the final minute. But Griffin, a fellow preseason All-American, snagged a key offensive rebound to help the Sooners close it out with three free throws by Cade Davis. The Sooners advanced to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament Season Tip-Off next week in New York.

NO. 7 TEXAS 76, TULANE 51: : Damion James scored 16 points and the host Longhorns (2-0) cruised over the Green Wave (1-1).

NO. 9 GONZAGA 80, IDAHO 46: : Micah Downs scored 18 points as the host Bulldogs (2-0) beat the Vandals (1-2) for the ninth consecutive time.

NO. 11 PURDUE 78, LOYOLA (CHICAGO) 46: : E'Twaun Moore scored 14 points and the host Boilermakers (3-0) advanced to the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals for only the second time in four tries. They lost to North Carolina in the semifinals in 1998. The Ramblers (1-2) shot just 30 percent.

NO. 14 TENNESSEE 91, TENNESSEE-MARTIN 64: : Reserve forward Brian Williams scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and the Volunteers (2-0) beat the Skyhawks (0-2) for their 34th consecutive home victory, breaking the school record set from 1966 to 1968.

NO. 19 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 73, NEW MEXICO STATE 60:: Taj Gibson tied his career high with 22 points and had a career-best 10 rebounds as the host Trojans beat the Aggies (1-1) for their first 2-0 start in eight years.

NO. 24 KANSAS 85, FLORIDA GULF COAST 45: : Sherron Collins had a career-high 25 points and the host Jayhawks (2-0) raced away from the Eagles (0-1) in the CBE Classic after raising their 2008 national championship banner.


NO. 25 WISCONSIN 88, SIU-EDWARDSVILLE 58: : Reserve Jon Leuer scored 19 points to lead the host Badgers (2-0) over the Cougars (1-3).


NO. 3 RUTGERS 83, PRINCETON 35:: Epiphanny Prince scored 15 points and Khadijah Rushdan added 11 for the host Scarlet Knights (2-0). Whitney Downs led the Tigers (1-1) with 10 points.

NO. 19 OKLAHOMA STATE 89, MCNEESE STATE 56:: Andrea Riley had 22 points and eight assists and the host Cowgirls (1-1) bounced back from their season-opening loss with a strong second half against McNeese's Cowgirls (0-3).

NO. 22 FLORIDA STATE 60, NORTH FLORIDA 49: : Jacinta Moore scored 21 points and Tanae Davis-Cain added 15 to help the Seminoles (2-0) beat the Ospreys (0-2) in Jacksonville.