Michigan State Spartans basketball team pounds North Carolina, 63-45
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
PORTLAND, Ore. — Tom Izzo finally got the better of Roy Williams with a record performance Michigan State would like to replicate — and North Carolina would rather soon forget.
Sometimes playing ugly still matters.
“What I think this does is reassure our guys,” Izzo said. “The way basketball is right now, it’s all the pretty boys stuff but at the end of the day most of the good teams are still winning by doing the dirty work.”
Joshua Langford made five 3-pointers and scored 23 points and No. 4 Michigan State used a record-setting defensive performance to topple No. 9 North Carolina 63-45 on Sunday night to win the “Victory Bracket” of the PK80 Invitational.
Izzo bested North Carolina for the first time with Williams in charge in Chapel Hill by holding the Tar Heels to the worst shooting performance in school history — 24.6 percent. They were 1 of 18 on 3s, also the worst effort in the school’s history. The 45 points tied for the second-fewest scored by the Tar Heels with Williams as head coach.
In the three games in Portland, the Spartans allowed 57, 51 and 45 points. They imposed themselves on the defensive end, bullying the opposition. Shots were contested. Lanes were clogged. The Spartans made nothing easy and it was capped by a record performance against the Tar Heels that left Williams apologetic.
“So far this year the freshmen haven’t necessarily played like freshmen. Today the freshmen played like freshmen, and the sophomores, juniors and seniors played like freshmen. And the coach coached like he’d never seen a game of basketball in his life,” Williams said.