North Carolina endured an emotionally volatile week packed with a big win, a frustrating loss as well as the mixed outcome to the program's long wait to learn the status of two players ensnared by NCAA troubles.
The No. 14 Tar Heels capped it all with a tough win, from surviving a potential winning three-pointer from a shooter having a career day to reversing their season-long struggles at the foul line in overtime.
Marcus Paige scored 11 of his 17 points in the extra period to help North Carolina beat visiting Davidson 97-85 on Saturday in the team's final game before the Christmas holiday.
Paige missed his first six shots and didn't score until the 8:17 mark of the second half, but took over late to help the Tar Heels (8-3) bounce back from Wednesday's loss to Texas in a week that started with last weekend's tough-it-out win against Kentucky.
Four days later, the NCAA cleared senior Leslie McDonald — who had missed the first nine games because of NCAA eligibility concerns — hours before tip-off of an 86-83 home loss to the Longhorns in a performance that left Coach Roy Williams so angry that he scheduled a 5 a.m. practice the next day.
Then, on Friday, the school said it wouldn't seek reinstatement from the NCAA for junior P.J. Hairston after last season's leading scorer committed several rule violations largely focused on using cars linked to a felon and party promoter.
"That's about as much drama as you can get in one week as a team, as a young team," Paige said. "But I think we handled it well. We understood we had a four- or five-day break coming up so we just had to get through this game and get to the break so we could rejuvenate and come back and be ready to go."
With Hairston watching from the bench, J.P. Tokoto had career highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead North Carolina. The Tar Heels needed two free throws from Paige with 29.3 seconds left to force OT, then dominated the extra period.
UNC survived a career-best 33 points and seven three-pointers from Davidson's Brian Sullivan.
No. 3 Ohio St. 64, Notre Dame 61: Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored seven of his nine points in the final 33 seconds and Ohio State rallied from an eight-point deficit with 1:54 to play to beat Notre Dame in the BlackRock Gotham Classic in Madison Square Garden at New York.
The Buckeyes (12-0), who had a woeful second half from the field, closed the game on a 14-3 run.
Illinois 65, No. 23 Missouri 64: Tracy Abrams scored a season-best 22 points and made two free throws with 4.6 seconds to lift Illinois over Missouri in the annual Braggin' Rights game in St. Louis. Rayvonte Rice added 14 points for Illinois (9-2), which snapped a four-game losing streak in the 33rd renewal of the annual neutral-court matchup.
Jordan Clarkson had 25 points, six rebounds and a career-best eight assists for Missouri (10-1), which entered the game as the lone unbeaten school in the SEC. Earnest Ross added 13 points.
No. 16 Florida 6, Fresno St. 49: Will Yeguete led a strong rebounding effort by Florida, which pulled away in the second half to beat Fresno State in the Orange Bowl Classic at Sunrise, Fla. Yeguete had five offensive rebounds and a season-high 10 total for the Gators, who had a 47-24 advantage on the boards, by far their largest this season. Florida won easily despite shooting only 42 percent.
No. 18 Kansas 86, Georgetown 64: Tarik Black came off the bench to score 17 points, Joel Embiid also had 17 and Kansas rolled over Georgetown in the Hoyas' first visit to Allen Fieldhouse. Andrew Wiggins added 12 points for the Jayhawks (8-3).
Kansas St. 72, No. 21 Gonzaga 62: Thomas Gipson scored eight of his 14 points in the game's decisive minutes and freshman Marcus Foster also had 14 points as Kansas State outlasted Gonzaga in Intrust Bank Arena at Wichita, Kan. Wesley Iwundu scored 13 points for the Wildcats (8-3) while Shane Southwell had 11.
No. 5 Michigan St. 92, Texas 78: Adreian Payne scored a career-high 32 points and Michigan State dominated the final 11 minutes at Austin, Texas. The Spartans (10-1) led for only 56 seconds in the first half as Texas (10-2) controlled the game early.
Florida St. 60, No. 22 Massachusetts 55: Florida State reserve center Boris Bojanovsky, a 7-foot-3 sophomore, had a career-high seven blocks in 16 minutes, and Florida State handed UMass its first defeat of the season in the Orange Bowl Classic at Sunrise, Fla. Florida State scored the game's final six points. The Minutemen failed to score on their final four possessions while committing two turnovers.
Xavier 77, Alabama 74: Isaiah Philmore had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead Xavier to a come-from-behind victory at Tuscaloosa, Ala. Trevor Releford led the Tide (5-6) with 17 points.
Georgia 65, Western Carolina 63: Charles Mann made two free throws with 2.5 seconds left to rally Georgia to a win at Athens, Ga. Kenny Gaines led Georgia (6-4) with 17 points. Mann added 13, and Brandon Morris 11.
Vanderbilt 76, Georgia Tech 63: Rod Odom scored 18 points — including four three-pointers — and Vanderbilt rallied from 14 points down in the first half to end visiting Georgia Tech's three-game win streak.
Dai-Jon Parker added 13 points and a pair of treys, while Kyle Fuller came off the bench to score 12 points for the Commodores (7-3).
LSU 86, UAB 63: Johnny O'Bryant scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half to propel LSU to a victory against visiting UAB. Anthony Hickey (Christian County) had eight points and five rebounds for the Tigers.
Oklahoma 64, Texas A&M 52: Jordan Woodard had 20 points as Oklahoma won its seventh straight with a win in Houston.
Arkansas State 83, Marshall 82: Arkansas State opened the game with five three-pointers — three by Brandon Reed — as part of a 19-5 run and held on to win at Huntington.
The margin came down to a missed three-pointer by Marshall's Kareem Canty that became a two-point put back by Ryan Taylor at the buzzer.
Cincinnati 69, Middle Tennessee 48: Sean Kilpatrick tied his season high with 23 points as host Cincinnati shook off a sluggish first half to roll to a win.
Boston University 83, Maryland 77: The Terriers got 25 points from D.J. Irving and displayed far more poise than Maryland down the stretch at College Park, Md. Nathan Dieudonne (Louisville Trinity) added five points, nine rebounds and a blocked shot for Boston U. (7-5).
Indiana St. 81, IUPUI 61: Marcellus Barksdale (Tates Creek) led the Jaguars with 17 points and 11 rebounds in a loss at Terre Haute, Ind.
Western Kentucky 71, Murray State 64: T.J. Price scored all 15 of his points in the second half and put a close game out of reach as Western Kentucky beat Murray State at Bowling Green.
Price made his first basket with 12 minutes to play, which sparked a 13-5 run that gave the Hilltoppers their first lead in 27 minutes. He hit a three-pointer 9 minutes later to cap a 9-0 run as Western Kentucky took its largest lead of the game (66-55).
Chris Harrison-Docks came off the bench to lead the team with 16 points, and George Fant and Trency Jackson added 14 apiece.
T.J. Sapp scored a career-high 25 points for the Racers (5-6), who led by as many as 14 in the first half and eight in the second.
Northern Kentucky 72, Navy 65: Tyler White knocked down a three-point shot with 30 seconds remaining as the Norse held off Navy at Highland Heights. Todd Johnson and Jalen Billups led Northern Kentucky with 16 points apiece with Billups grabbing 11 rebounds.
Spalding 78, Transylvania 69: Thomas Blakemore (Butler) scored 24 points to go with nine rebounds and three steals in Spalding's win in Lexington. Parker Stansberry (Dixie Heights) led the Pioneers with 18 points.
No. 7 Louisville 69, No. 11 Colorado 62: Shoni Schimmel scored a season-high 30 points, including 13-for-16 at the free-throw line, in a win at home over the Buffaloes.
"She shot more free throws today than she has all season," Cards Coach Jeff Walz said. "We've been talking to her about being more aggressive, to take the ball to the basket and not always pulling up for jump shots. She did that tonight."
Western Kentucky 57, Georgetown 55: Alexis Govan stole the ball at midcourt and scored in the final seconds of regulation to give Western a win after trailing by as many as 16 points in the second half in the Puerto Rico Classic. Govan scored eight points in the final 3:16 and finished with 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Ball State 67, Northern Kentucky 63: Lauren White scored 17 points, one off her career high, in Northern Kentucky's loss at home.
No. 6 Stanford 76, No. 3 Tennessee 70: Amber Orrange scored on a left-handed layin and was fouled with 25.8 seconds left and converted the free throw, helping seal Stanford's victory against visiting Tennessee. Chiney Ogwumike had 32 points, a season-best 20 rebounds and three blocks for the Cardinal.