UNC dominates No. 1 Michigan State on its home floor

North Carolina manhandles No.1 Michigan State in East Lansing

12/5/13 in NCAABB   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

Dec 4, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige (5) drives to the basket against Michigan State Spartans guard Travis Trice (20) during the 1st half a game at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY SportsThe North Carolina Tar Heels went into East Lansing Wednesday night and took No. 1 ranked Michigan State to the woodshed--manhandling the Spartans 79-65.

The Jekyll and Hyde Heels just came off a brutal loss Sunday at UAB, dropping them out of the top 25. That happened after UNC shocked the then ranked No. 3 Louisville Cardinals with a dominating performance.

And why was it such a surprise? Well, two games prior Carolina shot 22-48 from the free throw line and were upset in the closing seconds at the hands of Belmont.

I doubt anyone outside of Chapel Hill gave the Tar Heels much of a chance against the big bad top ranked and unbeaten Spartans.

However, right from the jump ball you could see something very odd going on. Michigan State was getting out hustled and out worked on the glass, which resulted in an early double digit lead for Carolina. The Tar Heels' missed shots were being put right back through the net after an offensive rebound. Michigan State really had no answers for the first 15 minutes.

Michigan State did close the half on an impressive run of their own and tied the game at 32-32.

Just when you thought State would takeover and control the second half--Roy Williams' Tar Heels of North Carolina had other ideas.

Every time the Spartans would tie the game, UNC answered with a run. After a quiet two point first half, Heels' leading scorer Marcus Paige awoke for 11 second half points. It didn't matter who it was on the interior: Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks, J.P. Tokoto, or even James Michael McAdoo, the Tar Heels just dominated Michigan State's front court.

Speaking of frontcourt presence, North Carolina may have found their next Sean May. His name is Kennedy Meeks. Meeks is a 6’9”, 290 lbs freshman who has great touch from mid range, and is a beast on the glass. Meeks also reminds me of Robert “tractor” Traylor. Just lookout and watch his development.

Dec 4, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams reacts to a play against the Michigan State Spartans during the 2nd half a game at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY SportsNorth Carolina never trailed in the game and closed it out down the stretch by making more free throws than they missed. In the words of Mel Allen, ‘how about that?’ Carolina also displayed great interior defense, making it challenging for MSU to get anything going on the block. State shot a shade under 36% for the game.

And once again Roy Williams gets the W against Tom Izzo. Williams at North Carolina is now 7-0 against Izzo, including a National Championship win in 2009.

The Tar Heels, still playing without P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald due to NCAA eligibility concerns, have now knocked off two top five schools in non conference play. How good can Carolina be should the aforementioned players return?

With Roy Williams already juggling 11 players in and out of the lineup, we at least know this team is deep albeit young. Hairston can provide a second perimeter threat that stretches the defense, which essentially makes it easier on Page and anyone on the block.

Let's see how North Carolina responds to prosperity when it faces UNC Greensboro on Saturday. If you do the math, Carolina will lose to UNCG, and then seven days later beat another top 5 school in Kentucky.

What do these big wins do for UNC? If they happen to be on the bubble for the NCAA tournament (which is unlikely), their ticket will be punched based on these huge upsets.

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