'Four Corners' gets ball rolling for Tar Heels
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Amid all the tributes to Dean Smith since the coaching legend's death, North Carolina coach Roy Williams and his No. 15 Tar Heels saved possibly the most fitting one for Saturday.
With Williams and players on the bench holding up four fingers, his team ran the "Four Corners" offense Smith made famous while coaching here and scored on their first possession — a sign of how smoothly things would run in an 89-60 rout of Georgia Tech.
The play ended with Marcus Paige finding a cutting Brice Johnson for a layup.
"I think he knows that I honor him," said Williams, a former Smith assistant. "And knows that for 64 years I've tried to make him proud. That was just a way of Roy Williams saying, 'Thank you.' "
Williams said the Tar Heels (19-8, 9-5 ACC) walked through the clock-milking, ball-control play Friday, but only after making sure no one was around to see it.
"I wanted it to be something very sincere from our team ... to Coach Dean Smith," Williams said. "So we didn't want anybody sending out a daggum Twitter or fax or whatever the dickens we go on today."
Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 15 to lead the Yellow Jackets (12-15, 3-12).
•CENTURY MARK: Six Kentucky players scored in double figures, and the top-ranked Wildcats broke the century mark in a Southeastern Conference game for the first time in five years with a 110-75 home blowout of Auburn. That extended its best start ever (27-0, 14-0 SEC).
• WORKING FOR NO. 21: Kyle Wiltjer had 16 points and 12 rebounds, and third-ranked Gonzaga rallied from 17 points down to beat host St.Mary's 70-60. The Bulldogs (28-1, 16-0) won the outright West Coast Conference championship and rolled up a school-record 21st consecutive victory and stayed on track for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
•SMALL BALL, BIG RESULT: Fourth-ranked Duke (24-3, 11-3 ACC) won with a smaller, quicker lineup with big man Jahlil Okafor sidelined by an ankle injury. Quinn Cook's career-best 27 points led four players in double figures in a 78-56 victory over Clemson in Durham, N.C.
•BIG SHOTS OF BIG EAST: No. 6 Villanova (25-2, 12-2 Big East) beat Marquette 87-76 in Milwaukee, running its winning streak to eight.
• NO PUSHOVER: Gabe York scored 13 points and Dusan Ristic added 12, providing No. 7 Arizona an unexpected lift in a difficult 57-47 victory over UCLA in Tucson, Ariz. Ristic and York helped Arizona (24-3, 11-2 Pac-12) out of its first-half funk, combining for 22 of Arizona's 32 points.
• TURNING A PAGE: Kansas' Perry Ellis, who blew a potential winning layup at the buzzer in Monday night's loss in West Virginia, scored 23 points for the eighth-ranked Jayhawks (22-5, 11-4 Big 12), who beat visiting TCU 81-72.
• STRONG IN THE SOUTH: Georges Niang and Matt Thomas scored 17 points for No. 14 Iowa State (20-6, 7-4 Big 12) in its 85-77 victory at Texas.
• BEST OF AN OPPORTUNITY: Bonzie Colson had 16 points and six rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench for No. 10 Notre Dame (24-4, 12-3 Big East) in an 87-70 victory at Boston College. Notre Dame shot 75 percent in the second half.
• HOW LOW CAN THEY GO? No. 11 Northern Iowa (26-2, 15-1 Missouri Valley) topped Bradley 56-39, holding a Valley opponent to fewer than 40 points for the fourth time this season and tying a school record with its 15th consecutive victory.
• BIG TEN WOMEN: No. 13 Iowa (21-6, 12-4) suffered its second consecutive loss, falling 100-82 at Ohio State (19-9, 11-5), which got 29 points from Ameryst Alston … Emily Cady had 22 points and 12 rebounds and Natalie Romeo made four free throws in the final 29 seconds to help No. 21 Nebraska (19-8, 9-7) pull out a 67-64 win at Indiana (14-13, 4-12).