by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
The biggest upset of the college basketball season officially belongs to the Rebels as UNLV used 13 3-pointers to upset the No. 1 Tar Heels, 90-80, on a “neutral” floor at the Las Vegas Invitational.
After North Carolina jumped ahead by four points at halftime, UNLV took over in the second half, outscoring the top-ranked Tar Heels, 52-38. Aside from the outside shooting, UNLV held a decisive edge on the glass, winning the rebounding margin, 46-37.
The game was the nation’s introduction to two of the most underrated players in the country. Mike Moser, who is second in the country in rebounding a 13.7 rpg, pulled down 18 boards to go along with 16 points. Meanwhile, senior swingman Chace Stanback had a double-double of his own, tallying a career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Much like the rest of their team, Moser and Stanback are underrated no more.
From The Washington Post:
“I could tell on the bus on the way over and at shoot-around how focused we were,” said first-year UNLV coach Dave Rice. “North Carolina is so well coached. We expected to play really, really well. We felt we had a chance to be competitive. We have four seniors. We don’t want one game to define our program. We want to be judged on our consistency.”
A loss is bad enough for the Tar Heels, but the timing couldn’t be worse. North Carolina is entering its toughest stretch of the non-conference schedule with games against No. 11 Wisconsin on Wednesday and No.2 Kentucky on Saturday. Unthinkable weeks ago, the Tar Heels could fall outside the top-10 by next week.