Nick Chubb returns to power Georgia past North Carolina

It’s always nice to see an injured player return to full strength, and Nick Chubb made a statement on Saturday that he’s back to terrorize college football defenses. Kirby Smart wasn’t shy about using him, as Chubb carried the ball 32 times for 222 yards as Georgia got past North Carolina in a pretty good football game.

Chubb instantly becomes a serious Heisman candidate with this performance, and it gives new head coach Smart a stabilizing force on offense.

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Kentucky beats UNC, 76-69

Kentucky Wildcats’ DeAndre Liggins (34) reacts with the Wildcats bench after sinking a three-pointer against the North Carolina Tar Heels during their NCAA East Regional college basketball game in Newark, New Jersey, March 27, 2011. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

The Wildcats held a slim lead for most of the game, but found themselves tied at 67-67 with 3:18 to play after Tyler Zeller hit a pair of free throws to cap a 10-2 run for the Tar Heels.

On the next trip down the court, Brandon Knight picked a great time to hit his fifth three-pointer of the game. Zeller’s tip-in cut the lead to one, but then DeAndre Liggins hit a three of his own to give the Wildcats a four-point lead with 0:35 to play.

Just like the VCU/Kansas game, three-point shooting was the difference in this one. Kentucky went 12-of-22 (55%), while the Tar Heels made just 3-of-16 (19%) from long range.

Kentucky joins VCU, UConn and Butler in the Final Four. They’ll play Kemba Walker and UConn on Saturday.

Refs bungle end of UNC/Washington game

Washington Huskies guard Isaiah Thomas (2) walks off the court after losing against the North Carolina Tar Heels during their third round NCAA men’s basketball game in Charlotte, North Carolina March 20, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Keane (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

North Carolina outlasted Washington, 86-83, in Charlotte, but most of the talk after the game was how the officials determined the amount of time remaining on the last play of the game.

Washington’s Venoy Overton heaved a half-court shot (with his off hand, no less) and the ball hit John Henson’s hand before it went out of bounds. The replay clearly showed it hit the floor out of bounds with 1.2 seconds remaining, yet when Washington’s coaching staff asked the refs to check the time, they said it was fine and play proceeded with 0.5 seconds remaining. Washington didn’t have much time to get a good look and ended up taking a contested two-pointer that wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the game even if it had gone in.

The NCAA director of men’s officials, John Adams, told CBS after the game that the officials acted correctly since there’s a lag time between when the ball hits, when the official blows his whistle and when the scorekeeper stops the clock.

Fine. But there’s an elephant in the room — why didn’t the officials bother to go to the video? They don’t have to check the video, but if the Washington coaching staff did indeed ask about the time, then the officials should have double-checked. With the Sweet Sixteen on the line, why not take a minute and make sure you got it right?

Who knows, had Washington had an extra 0.7 seconds, maybe they would have had time to get a better shot.

It’s a good day to be a college basketball fan

Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski (L) talks with University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill head coach Roy Williams prior to the teams’ NCAA basketball game in Durham, North Carolina February 9, 2011. REUTERS/Ellen Ozier (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Check out this lineup of college hoops today (all times ET):

12 PM: #2 Kansas @ #24 Missouri (CBS)
The Jayhawks need a victory in Columbia to win the Big 12 outright. They have a one-game lead over Texas with one game to play and are hoping to secure a #1 seed in the Big 12 Tournament as well. Meanwhile, Missouri is hoping to complete an unbeaten season at home.

2 PM: #7 Notre Dame @ #16 UConn (ESPN)
It’s senior night for the Huskies, who have beaten the Irish seven straight times at Gampel Pavilion. Notre Dame can earn the #1 seed in the Big East tournament with a win today and a Pittsburgh loss to Villanova.

4 PM: #19 Villanova @ #5 Pittsburgh (CBS)
Villanova has faded after a strong start to the season, but could still spoil the Panthers’ bid to be the top seed in the Big East Championship if they’re able to upset Pitt on their home floor. The Panthers need a win to solidify their bid to be a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

6 PM: #14 Florida @ #20 Vanderbilt (ESPN)
These two teams went into overtime the first time they met this season and the Gators can clinch the outright SEC title with a win against the Commodores in Nashville.

8 PM: #4 Duke @ #13 North Carolina (CBS)
The ACC regular season championship is on the line as the Blue Devils face the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. In the first meeting at Cameron, UNC had a 16-point lead before Duke came back to win 79-73. Duke is hoping to be a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and needs a win tonight to round out its resume.

It’s not often that there are five Top 25 matchups lined up every two hours like there are today. And don’t forget, #10 Wisconsin plays #1 Ohio State at 4 PM (on CBS) on Sunday.

North Carolina recruit says that Coach K ‘looks like a rat’ [video]

UNC recruits Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall and Reggie Bullock were interviewed by DraftExpress as part of the McDonald’s All-American events, and while Barnes and Marshall were diplomatic when discussing their arch-rival, Bullock was not. (Thanks to the SPORTZ ASSASSIN for finding the video.)

Barnes is from Iowa and Marshall is from Virginia, while Bullock is from North Carolina — maybe that has something to do with it.

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