Going into Wednesday’s game against unranked North Carolina, it looked as if The Michigan State Spartans would be able to retain their #1 ranking for the fourth consecutive week.
But that, as they say, is why they play the games.
Michigan State looked out of sync form the very beginning of this game . They missed jumpers, were unable to pull down rebounds and had difficulty getting key defensive stops. The combination proved to be a bad recipe for the game as the Spartans lost to the Tarheels by 14 points, 79-65.
North Carolina came out with a very physical style of play and beat up the Spartans in front of their home crowd. Keith Appling got roughed up in the first half after falling hard on his hip while trying to get a rebound. Adrian Payne also hit the floor in the second with severe cramps in his calf, a testament to how physically demanding this game was on the Spartans.
After being down by as many as 15 in the first half the Spartans rallies to tie the game at 32. The Spartans went into the locker room tied at 32 with the Tarheels and feeling pretty good about pulling out a win.
But the effect of the Tarheels style of play showed in the second half. The Spartans looked tired and struggled to make baskets shooting only 35% from the field.
The loss drops the Spartans record to 7-1. Losing to an unranked team will also cost them their top ranking. The Spartans will look to rebound when they visit Oakland University on December 14th.