In each of North Carolina's last two games sophomore forward Harrison Barnes shot 4-for-12 from the field and scored nine points. Some may have been concerned given the fact that those performances came against Appalachian State and Nicholls State, ignoring the fact that the Tar Heels still managed to win both games by comfortable margins. Barnes is fine, as he showed in North Carolina's 82-63 win over Texas by scoring a season-high 26 points and grabbing ten rebounds in just 25 minutes of action.
With the first matchup between Belmont and Middle Tennessee going to double overtime the rematch on Tuesday was expected to be just as tight. Sure enough the game didn't disappoint, with the Blue Raiders locking up the 65-62 win with a pair of blocked shots in the final 22 seconds. LaRon Dendy led the way for Middle Tennessee with 20 points, and the Blue Raiders haven't reached the ten-win mark in a season this fast since 1990-91.
After wins over Belmont and Presbyterian moved Mike Krzyzewski into a tie with Bob Knight for the most wins in college basketball history, many at Madison Square Garden were hoping that the Duke head coach would become the record-holder with a win over Michigan State on Tuesday night. But while some went as far as to almost assume the game to be a coronation of sorts, Tom Izzo's Spartans refused to back down.
Western Kentucky is once again the favorite after last year's impressive 25-win season. Up and coming teams like Troy, Denver, and North Texas hope to make some noise as well.
Tuesday night brings about a matchup in the Sun Belt and if the first two weekends are any indication of what's to come then this will be a wild season in the league. Middle Tennessee State (3-1, 1-0) hits the road to take on Troy (2-2, 1-0), the preseason favorite to win the conference. But the idea that the Trojans and Florida Atlantic would run away with this thing has fallen by the wayside; there are more options from which to choose and the Blue Raiders have shown themselves to be one.
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