There was nothing difficult about the 10-foot shot North Carolina guard King Rice made with two seconds left in the second overtime of an Atlantic Coast Conference game against Virginia.
Or so said Rice after his basket gave the No. 5 Tar Heels an 89-86 victory over No. 13 Virginia Saturday night at Charlottesville, Va.
"Anybody in this league can make them when you get that close," said Rice, who scored 14 points and had eight assists.
North Carolina Coach Dean Smith earned his 701st victory as the Tar Heels, 13-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC, won their 11th consecutive game and ended a two-game losing streak in University Hall.
Virginia (10-3, 2-1) lost for the first time in nine games.
Rice's winning basket helped him atone for an earlier mistake that gave Virginia hope in the second overtime.
North Carolina held an 86-84 lead in the final minute when Rice, standing near midcourt, was called for a five-second violation.
The call was made by an official standing behind Rice. But Rice said he was watching one of the officials who was not waving his arms in a counting motion.
"I guess I just have to be aware of those things in the future," Rice said.
Virginia got the ball with 34 seconds left. Eight seconds later, Rice was called for fouling John Crotty, who made both free throws to tie the score.
North Carolina ran the clock under 10 seconds and gave the ball to Rice, who drove the lane and pulled up for the winning basket.
Several Virginia players tried to stop the clock with one second left, but the Cavaliers were assessed a technical foul because they had no timeouts left.
Rice made one free throw for the final margin.
"It's disappointing to lose, especially when you put so much into something," Virginia Coach Jeff Jones said. "I don't think we played a particularly good game, but we kept clawing back. We had our chances, but we weren't able to take advantage of them.
Pete Chilcutt led North Carolina with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Rick Fox added 21 for the Tar Heels.
Crotty had 29 points for Virginia, which also got 22 from Bryant Stith and 17 from Kenny Turner.
Crotty made a three-point shot from near the top of the key with 12 seconds left in the first overtime that tied the score, 78-78, and forced the second overtime.
No. 2 Arkansas 113, Texas Tech 86--Oliver Miller scored 28 points and the Razorbacks cruised to a Southwest Conference victory at Lubbock, Tex.
Arkansas (15-1, 4-0) made 36 of 40 free throws and had too much speed and depth for the outmanned Red Raiders (5-11, 2-2), who got into foul trouble attempting to slow down Miller.
Razorback guards Todd Day and Lee Mayberry finished with 20 points.
No. 4 Ohio State 92, Wisconsin 60--The victory at Columbus, Ohio, gives the Buckeyes their best start in Big Ten Conference play in 10 years.
Jim Jackson scored seven of his 17 points during a 17-0 run by Ohio State (14-0, 4-0).
Larry Hisle scored 12 points for Wisconsin (7-6, 1-2), which committed 23 turnovers.
No. 8 Syracuse 69, Seton Hall 67--David Johnson made one free throw, then rebounded the miss of his second try and scored with 2.4 seconds left to help the Orangemen end a rare two-game losing streak with a Big East Conference victory at East Rutherford, N.J.
Syracuse (14-2, 2-2) played the final 2:28 without Billy Owens, who injured his back after scoring 28 points.
Anthony Avent scored 20 points for Seton Hall (10-3, 3-2), which last beat the Orangemen in 1981.
No. 11 Kentucky 78, Tennessee 74--Sean Woods made two free throws with 32 seconds left and Reggie Hanson added another to seal a Southeastern Conference victory for the Wildcats at Knoxville, Tenn.
Tennessee (6-9, 0-4) led, 65-60, with eight minutes left before the Wildcats (12-2, 4-0) scored nine consecutive points to take a 69-65 lead with 5:49 left.
Allan Houston scored 20 points for the Volunteers, who have lost five consecutive games and eight of their last nine.
No. 12 Oklahoma 113, Colorado 97--The Sooners beat Colorado for the 22nd consecutive time in a Big Eight game at Norman Okla.
Jeff Webster scored 36 points and Terry Evans added 30--both career highs--to lead Oklahoma (13-2, 2-0). Evans made eight three-point shots, tying the Big Eight single-game record set by Steve Henson of Kansas State last season.
Stevie Wise scored 20 points for Colorado (10-4, 1-1), which has not beaten the Sooners since 1982.
No. 14 Duke 94, Maryland 78--The Blue Devils, who blew out Georgia Tech by 41 points on Wednesday, took a 10-0 lead and never trailed in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at College Park, Md.
Sophomore guard Bobby Hurley scored a career-high 26 points and added 10 assists for Duke (12-3, 2-1), which beat the Terrapins (8-6, 1-3) for the seventh consecutive time. Cedric Lewis had 19 points for Maryland, which lost at home for the first time this season.
Walt Williams, who was averaging 21 points a game for Maryland, scored 11 before leaving early in the second half with a deep bruise in his lower left leg.