In a battle between No. 1 Kentucky and former No. 1 North Carolina, it came as little surprise to see the game come down to the wire. With North Carolina getting one last possession to win a one-point game, the Wildcats were saved by the strength of the team so far this season: shot-blocking.
The tremendous length of Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis has helped him become one of the premier shot-swatters in the college game in just a month of game action. With the Tar Heels looking to set up John Henson (who had cooled off after a hot-shooting start), Davis switched out onto the 6'11" junior and slapped away his last-ditch jumper to save the win for the Wildcats.
The rejection was Davis' second on the day and Kentucky's seventh as a team. Although Davis had been quiet offensively against the lanky Carolina front line (seven points on just six field goal attempts), he stepped up when the Wildcats needed him to preserve their biggest win of the season.
Davis was just one of several heroes for the Wildcats, who survived an 11-for-18 three-point shooting day by UNC. Fellow freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led the Wildcats with 17 points and 11 boards, while sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb added 14 points apiece.
However, no factor was bigger in the Wildcats' victory than an interior defense (led by Jones and Davis) that held Carolina to 14-for-42 shooting inside the three-point line.