CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Tyler Zeller stood at midcourt with his fellow seniors and gave a wave to the crowd after their final home game at North Carolina. It was a chance to say goodbye, and the moment the No. 6 Tar Heels could start thinking about Duke again.
Zeller had 30 points to help North Carolina beat Maryland 88-64 on Wednesday, setting up a matchup Saturday with the fourth-ranked Blue Devils to determine the ACC regular-season championship.
Former Sickles High star John Henson added 19 points for the Tar Heels (26-4, 13-2 ACC).
"Coach (Roy Williams) always told us it would go by like a flash, and it has," said Zeller, who went just 5-for-12 from the field but finished with his best scoring performance in an ACC game thanks to the number of times he went to the free-throw line. The 7-footer made 20 of 23 attempts, breaking Tyler Hansbrough's Smith Center record for made free throws in a game.
"He does have tremendous savvy," Williams said. "He can turn to either shoulder and be able to score."
North Carolina has won six straight games since the Blue Devils ended the Tar Heels' school-record 31-game home winning streak Feb. 8. That game that ended with Austin Rivers burying a 3-pointer at the buzzer, capping Duke's comeback from 10 down in the final 2½ minutes.
No. 7 Mizzou 78, Iowa St. 72: Michael Dixon scored 21 as the host Tigers (26-4, 13-4) clinched the two seed in the Big 12 tourney.
Cincy 72, No. 8 Marquette 61: JaQuon Parker scored a career-high 28 as the host Bearcats improved their NCAA Tournament chances by upsetting the Golden Eagles (24-6, 13-4). The Bearcats (21-9, 11-6) have won six of their last eight.
NO. 10 OHIO ST. 75, N'WESTERN 73: Jared Sullinger banked in a shot with 3.1 seconds left as the visiting Buckeyes (24-6, 12-5 Big Ten) recovered after squandering a 13-point lead. Sullinger scored 22 with 18 rebounds.
No. 23 Temple 90, UMass 88: Khalif Wyatt scored 26, including the winning layup in the final seconds of overtime, as the host Owls (23-6, 12-3) clinched the top seed in next week's Atlantic 10 tournament. The Owls also clinched a tie for the regular-season conference title, but they hold the tiebreaker over Saint Louis.
N.C. STATE 77, MIAMI 73: C.J. Leslie had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and the Wolfpack (19-11, 8-7 ACC) withstood a charge from the Hurricanes (17-11, 8-7) to keep them winless in Raleigh, N.C. Rion Brown scored 15 for Miami.
Undisciplined UCLA? Players and staff members from the past four Bruins teams say coach Ben Howland allowed an influx of talented but immature recruits to undermine team discipline and morale as the program has struggled to live up to its storied history, Sports Illustrated reported. SI's website report outlines teammates fighting, several players routinely using alcohol and drugs, and one player intentionally injuring teammates without repercussions.
"This is not a great day for our program or for me," Howland said. "… If there's any need to make changes, I will make them."
Athletic director Dan Guerrero didn't answer directly when asked about Howland's job status for next season. "The article certainly raised some issues, but believe me we were aware of some of the issues," he said.
In 2008, Howland agreed to a seven-year contract, which runs through the 2014-15 season.
According to players who spoke to SI, Howland had little contact with players beyond practices and games. The task of indoctrinating players fell to veterans.
No. 2 Stanford 76, Seattle 52: Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 19 points and 11 in her final home game as the host Cardinal (27-1) won its 79th straight home game.
No. 8 Del. 79, William & Mary 53: Elena Delle Donne scored 26 as the visiting Blue Hens (27-1, 18-0 Colonial Athletic Association) became the first team to finish undefeated in the conference since Old Dominion in 2001-02.
All-SEC: Conference coaches named Kentucky's A'dia Mathies as player of the year and Arkansas' Tom Collen as coach of the year. Florida's Deana Allen and Kentucky's Keyla Snowden shared sixth woman of the year, and the Gators' Jennifer George was named to the first team.