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Top of the Arc - November 27, 2008

Nov. 27, 8:00 a.m.: Happy Thanksgiving. This will be an abbreviated version for the morning rundown.

First, check out today's preview of the Georgetown and Maryland games down in Orlando. I am picking all the favorites today, but I'm very curious if Siena can hang with Tennessee.

As for last night, a solid win for a George Washington team that should be improved from last season. The Colonials avenged last season’s loss to UMBC with a 70-64 victory. UMBC cut the deficit to two with 40 seconds left, but GW’s Damian Hollis scored on a put-back in the final seconds to basically seal the win. Here is Kathy Orton’s story in today’s paper.

Virginia Tech pulled away from Elon to win 76-67, but I can understand if there is still some anxiety concerning the Hokies’ overall performance so far this season. Wisconsin is up next on Dec. 1.

No one is saying North Carolina will go unbeaten, but I don’t feel comfortable saying the Tar Heels won’t either. It’s a long year, and they are certainly capable of stumbling somewhere, including in March. But they have shown they are without question the top team in the country. The Tar Heels were running away from Notre Dame before Kyle McAlarney started really firing away from three-point range. McAlarney made 10 of 18 three-pointers. Check out Jason King’s column. Tyler Hansbrough scored 34 points. Notre Dame made 15 of 36 three-pointers. Luke Harangody wasn’t 100 percent because of an illness. Ty Lawson collected 11 assists and displayed blazing speed in the open court.

Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin once again looked nearly unstoppable. His 32-point, 15-rebound effort enabled the Sooners to rally and outscore Alabama-Birmingam by 15 in the second half and win, 77-67. Oklahoma closed the game on a 17-5 run. Roger Rubin says Griffin showed why he is probably the top pick in the NBA draft. I can't argue with that.

A mixed bag for two struggling power conference teams. Oregon State fell to 0-4 by losing to Montana State. The Beavers squandered a 15-point second half lead and lost their 25th straight game. Indiana survived against Chaminade, which had a buzzer-beating shot that would have won the game. Going to be a long season for Tom Crean, but probably even longer for Craig Robinson, who says his team has to get tougher.

By Eric Prisbell  |  November 27, 2008; 8:01 AM ET
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