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Tuesday, December 7, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 74

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ACC comes out on top; Chris Mihm shines in UT; MSU faces another test

Top 25/NCAA Men's Basketball Notebook

Josh Gajewski

In a showdown between two of the best conferences that college basketball has to offer, the Atlantic Coast Conference took care of business this past week with five wins over the Big Ten in the first annual ACC/Big-Ten Challenge.

The marquee matchup of the tournament saw No. 7 Michigan State claim a 10-point victory over North Carolina, which was then ranked No. 2 in the country but fell to No. 7 after the loss. MSU, on the other hand, rose to the fifth spot. 

Elsewhere in the tournament, Justin Gainey sank a game-winning three-pointer in the final seconds of North Carolina State's upset win over Purdue, who fell to No. 23 in the poll.

No. 24 Illinois won its consolation game over Seton Hall while Florida State's 60-46 win over Northwestern in the final game of the tournament gave the ACC its fifth victory to the Big Ten's four.

Elsewhere

The upset of the week came last Tuesday night as lowly Dayton stunned Kentucky, who fell to No. 22 in the poll.

Arizona moved into the No. 2 spot in the nation after beating Texas on Saturday night in Austin.

The Longhorns were coming off of an upset win over MSU in the final round of the Puerto Rico Shootout the week before and moved into the Top 10 for the first time since 1982. However, UT has never won two straight against Top 10 teams in its history, and that failing continued Saturday.

Mihm's the word

Despite the loss to the Wildcats, UT's Chris Mihm continues to impress, scoring 18 points ­ 14 in the second half ­ in UT's first defeat.

So far the All-American and Preseason Player of the Year (according to some) has been outstanding.

The seven-footer is averaging 19.8 points and 12.5 rebounds a game thus far and is even shooting 80 percent (four of five) from the three-point line.

On Saturday, though, his streak of nine consecutive double-doubles dating back to last season came to an end, but chances are that another streak will unfold once again.

No laughing matter

MSU guard Mateen Cleaves, who had hoped to return to action Dec. 23 for the Spartans' game against Kentucky, suffered a setback in his rehabilitation process.

Cleaves was sidelined just before the start of the season and, according to reports, was found crying after the loss to UT last month, apparently because of a setback.

It's go time

Speaking of MSU, eyes will be on the mighty Spartans in the coming weeks as their chance to solidify their billing as a legitimate Final Four contender presents itself.

MSU faced No. 4 Kansas last night and the competition doesn't let up soon. The Spartans travel to Tucson on Friday to face No. 2 Arizona and two games later will be in Lexington to face No. 22 Kentucky in Rupp Arena.
 

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