CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina guards P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald did not travel with the team on Thursday to Connecticut, where the No.24 Tar Heels will play this weekend in the Naismith Hall of Fame Tip-Off.
Both Hairston and McDonald have sat out the Tar Heels’ first three games amid NCAA eligibility concerns, and both players will continue to sit out until their cases are resolved. It’s unclear when, or if, either player will be eligible this season.
UNC will play Richmond on Saturday at noon, and the winner of that game will likely play on Sunday against Louisville, which plays against Fairfield on Saturday. Given the uncertainty surrounding Hairston, a junior, and McDonald, a senior, UNC has started the season without its two most experienced guards, and their most proven perimeter shooters.
The NCAA has investigated both players amid concerns that they received impermissible benefits.
No. 18 Connecticut 72, Boston College 70: Ryan Boatwright made two big free throws with 7.9 seconds to play and blocked a 3-point attempt at the buzzer, and the Huskies won in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project in New York.
DeAndre Daniels had 23 points to lead the Huskies (5-0), who play the winner of the Washington-Indiana game for the title on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Shabazz Napier had 20 points for Connecticut, which led most of the way. He made his first seven free throws but missed the second of two with 30 seconds left, leaving the Huskies ahead 69-67.
Wake Forest 82, The Citadel 54: Coron Williams scored 12 points and the Deacons overcame first-half shooting problems in Winston-Salem.
Devin Thomas added 11 points and Travis McKie 10 for Wake Forest (5-0), which won its final tuneup game before playing No. 2 Kansas in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament next week in the Bahamas.
Brian White scored 18 points and Matt Van Scyoc added 12 for the Bulldogs (2-4), who shot just 35.8 percent (19 of 53), turned the ball over 16 times and were out-rebounded 45-34 by Wake Forest.
Central Florida 63, Miami 58: Calvin Newell scored 19 points to lead Central Florida in Coral Gables, Fla.
Kasey Wilson converted one of two free throws with 36 seconds left for a 61-58 lead and gave the Knights additional cushion with a fast break dunk with 22 seconds left. Wilson finished with 16 points for the Knights (3-1).
Miami (3-2) had a chance to tie it with 39 seconds remaining but Donnavan Kirk missed two free throw attempts.