Mississippi State coach Rick Ray has at least one strong approval after losing two of his first three games as a head coach: from North Carolina coach Roy Williams.
Williams said he grabbed Ray after ninth-ranked North Carolina beat the Bulldogs 95-49 at the Maui Invitational on Monday to tell him he thinks Ray is doing a good job.
''I told him that my first year at Kansas, we lost eight games in a row and things didn't turn around for us,'' Williams said. ''His kids played awfully hard, we just had too many players for them.''
UNC looked determined not to play the part of a beatable favorite at the tournament, a showcase built on upsets.
Leslie McDonald scored 21 points as one of five Tar Heels in double-figures. P.J. Hairston had 18 points in 15 minutes, Reggie Bullock had 16 points, and Dexter Strickland and James McAdoo each scored 10.
Roquez Johnson led the Bulldogs in defeat with 12 points.
Ray said his team allowed UNC too many offens...