Tar Heels Beat No. 1 Michigan State

Updated: December 5, 2013

A few days after a lifeless performance against UAB, North Carolina displayed the full weight of its potential with a 79-65 throttling of No.1 Michigan State.  The Tar Heels up and down start to this college basketball season has reaffirmed that this is a team capable of beating and similarly losing to any team of the country on any given night. 

For a school revered for its toughness and physicality ever since coach Tom Izzo took over the basketball program, it was somewhat surprising to see the Spartans get overwhelmed on their home floor in this contest.  Littered with underclassmen, UNC played with more force from the start and by the end of the game had won both the rebounding (49-38) and points in the paint (44-28) battles.    

As good as North Carolina played versus Sparty, it won’t be a shocker if they continue to show spells of inconsistency throughout the year.  With P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald still relegated to the sidelines due to NCAA eligibility concerns, Roy Williams will have to rely on a younger cast of characters in order to get the job done.  The good news is that freshmen Kennedy Meeks and Nate Britt and sophomores Brice Johnson, J.P. Tokoto, and Marcus Paige have already proven that they are capable of playing at a high level against a few of the elite teams in college basketball. 

The next big test for Carolina will be against Kentucky on December 14th.  Judging by their defeats of Louisville and Michigan State, you can expect the talent of UNC to put forth a competitive effort.  Whether they continue to play down to their opposition and slip up beforehand versus UNC-Greensboro is another story.    

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