Sahvir Wheeler scored 26 points and Kellan Grady 18 as No. 21 Kentucky rolled to a 98-69 victory against North Carolina in a late scheduled matchup in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Wheeler made 12 of 15 field goals. He had 14 points when the Wildcats (8-2) took a 40-29 halftime lead.
The game was part of the annual CBS Sports Classic and was to have featured No. 4 UCLA vs. North Carolina in the opener before the Wildcats played No. 15 Ohio State. Owing to COVID-19 issues, UCLA paused its activities midweek and Ohio State on Thursday followed.
Oscar Tshiebwe had 16 points for the Wildcats and the nation’s top rebounder (14.4 per game) grabbed 12 for his eighth double-double of the season.
Armando Bacot led the Tar Heels (8-3) with 22 points.
North Carolina had won five in a row while allowing an average of 58.0 points per game. No opponent had scored more than 63 points during the streak.
North Carolina is 5-3 in the Classic while Kentucky is 4-4, including a 75-63 win over the Tar Heels last season in Cleveland.
The Tar Heels made 1 of 13 (7.7 percent) of their 3-pointers. Kentucky hit 8 of 15 (53.3 percent).
Kentucky set out to make amends for its poor long-range shooting in a 66-62 loss to Notre Dame last Saturday when the Wildcats made 2 of 19 3-pointers.
They hit 3 of 7 in the first half to race to an early double-digit lead on the Tar Heels when Grady hit a triple.
North Carolina missed nine straight shots as the Wildcats ran off 10 points in a row for a 17-6 advantage. For the half, the Tar Heels missed all six tries from beyond the arc as part of a 37.0 percent (10 of 27) from the floor.
North Carolina is home for Appalachian State on Tuesday. Kentucky hosts Louisville on Wednesday.
–Field Level Media