Wisconsin's high-scoring offense has garnered much of the attention during the school's best start in 20 years. It was the Badgers' defense that did the hard work Wednesday night in a 48-38 victory against Virginia at Charlottesville.
"I'm glad we won like this," Josh Gasser said. "It's about time we played that way defensively."
Gasser led all scorers with 11 points and Wisconsin limited Virginia to its lowest point total since a 77-36 loss to Connecticut on Nov. 29, 1993. The Cavaliers shot just 23 percent (11 of 47) and went 1-for-11 on three-pointers.
And while Virginia's nationally ranked defense kept Wisconsin well off its 76.8-point average, the Badgers' defense and Virginia's inability to convert on offense made it an ugly game.
"It was so hard to get good looks, and even when you did get good looks, they were hurried," Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan said after earning his 300th victory with the Badgers. "That was two teams just really beating people to positions, rotating, making it difficult to get easy baskets. There weren't a lot of easy baskets in that game."
The game was a rematch from last year's ACC/Big Ten Challenge, when Virginia won 60-54 in Madison, Wis., behind 22 points from Joe Harris. This time, Gasser had a big hand in keeping the Cavaliers' leading scorer quiet.
Harris finished 1-for-10 from the field, including 0-for=4 from three-point territory, and scored just two points.
"I was trying to do my job out there, not give him any easy looks," Gasser said while also crediting solid team defense. "He's just a great player and fortunately, he wasn't hitting them."
The Badgers (9-0) extended their best start since opening 11-0 in 1993-94 despite shooting 29 percent (15-for-52). During one stretch of nearly 22 minutes spanning the halves, the Cavaliers managed just three field goals while falling behind 37-23.
North Carolina 79, No. 1 Michigan St. 65: Three nights after falling 63-59 at UAB, North Carolina traveled to East Lansing and defeated the number one team in the nation on their home floor.
The Tar Heels (5-2) shot 19-for-27 from the free-throw line against the Spartans (7-1) after visiting the charity stripe just 11 times in Sunday's loss in Birmingham. Five Tar Heels scored at least 12 points in the win, led by Kennedy Meeks' 15.
No. 25 Dayton 56, Delaware State 46: Matt Kavanaugh scored 11 points and Dayton overcame a sluggish first half, poor free-throw shooting and a late slump to defeat visiting Delaware State.
Vee Sanford (Lexington Catholic) added 10 points, four rebounds and three assists for Dayton (7-1).
Texas A&M 74, Houston 57: Jamal Jones scored 21 points and hit seven three-pointers, and Kourtney Roberson added 14 points in Texas A&M's win at College Station.
The Aggies (7-2) returned to Reed Arena, where they've won all seven of their games, following consecutive losses in the Corpus Christi (Texas) Classic to Missouri State and SMU.
Georgia State 71, Young Harris College 54: Curtis Washington (Elizabethtown) scored 17 points and Devonta White added 16 as Georgia State snapped a four-game losing streak and beat Division II Young Harris College at Atlanta. Former Kentucky point guard Ryan Harrow had four points and four assists in the Panthers' win. He hit the only two shots he took.
Southern Miss. 74, Morehead St. 60: The Eagles ended a stretch of 11 games in 26 days with a loss on the road to the Golden Eagles (7-1), led by Neil Watson's 19 points. Angelo Warner led all scorers with 20 points for Eagles (7-4).
Mount St. Joseph 87, Transylvania 70: Ken Kunkel scored a game-high 20 points to help the Lions (3-3, 1-0 Heartland Athletic Conference) down the Pioneers (1-4, 0-1) in the HCAC opener for both teams. Mason Monroe topped Transylvania with 18 points.
Murray St. 65, Evansville 63: D.J. Balentine scored a game-high 25 points for the Purple Aces (5-3), but the Racers (3-5) stopped a three-game skid. Jeffery Moss scored 20 points on 50-percent shooting to lead Murray.
Sophomore Adam Wing (Rowan County) scored 10 points and had two rebounds for Evansville.
Cincinnati 75, Morehead St. 44: The Bearcats (3-4) shot a season-best 51 percent from the field and scored a season high 75 points in a rout over the visiting Eagles (4-6).
Dayeesha Hollins led Cincinnati with 24 points on 7-for-9 shooting and a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. Terrice Robinson was the lone Morehead player to reach double figure scoring. She had 14 points.