Previewing Michigan State

Two national title contenders meet at the home of the Final Four on Wednesday, as the No. 1 Tar Heels travel to Detroit to face Michigan State. Tip-off at Ford Field is scheduled for 9:15 p.m. and will be nationally televised by ESPN.

North Carolina (7-0) vs. Michigan State (4-1)
Detroit, Mich. - Ford Field
9:15 p.m. - ESPN (Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale, Doris Burke)

Quotables

"Hopefully it will be a great game. I think our team will come out and play. Whether or not it will be well enough to win, that's the reason we play – we'll have to wait until [Wednesday night] to see that. But I think the kids will be enthused about it. They've gotten enthused about playing a couple of big games already, so I think they'll do it again… I've never been there, so we'll see. I don't know how much I'm going to like that court being above my knees." – UNC head coach Roy Williams

"With Kalin Lucas and some of the other guys that they have, Tommy's liking them to go and up down the court a little more than they have been in the past. You have to do a good job on the defensive end of the floor and you have to finish the defense. By that I mean you have to box out, you have to secure the ball and you have to rebound the basketball… We realize that we have to compete with them on the backboards, we have to be able to handle their pressure and we have to finish our defensive possessions by getting the basketball off the board and not letting them have more than one shot." – Williams

"I'd be lying if I said it didn't (mean more to me). I just have to go out there with the same mindset like it's any other game." – MSU forward and former UNC recruit Delvon Roe

PREGAME NOTES

Season to Date: Michigan State enters Wednesday's ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup with a 4-1 record. The Spartans tore through Idaho and IPFW before last week's Old Spice Classic at Lake Buena Vista, Fla, where they were upset by Maryland in impressive fashion, losing 80-62. Tom Izzo's squad responded with solid wins over Oklahoma State (94-79) and Wichita State (65-57).

Raymar's Up and Down Game: Raymar Morgan is the Spartan's leading scorer with a 17-points-per-game average, in addition to pulling down four rebounds per contest, but how the junior forward arrived at those totals makes for an interesting story. The 6-foot-8, 225-pounder totaled 22 points and six rebounds against IPFW, before battling foul trouble and contributing just four points and three rebounds against Maryland. He responded with 29 points and five boards against Oklahoma State, only to post nine points and five rebounds in 35 minutes of action against Wichita State.

Center Suton Ready to Play?: Fifth-year senior Goran Suton, who ranked second in rebounding (8.2 rpg) and fifth in field-goal percentage (.551) in the Big Ten in 2007-08, has missed his last three games due to a sprained knee. But the Lansing, Mich. product practiced on Monday for the first time, joining his teammates for the walk-through. Suton told the Lansing State Journal that he intends to dress for Wednesday's contest and that the decision to play will primarily be determined based on how he feels prior to tipoff.

The Spartan version of Ty Lawson: Kalin Lucas (11.6 points and 1.4 steals per game) has done his best impersonation of the Tar Heels' floor leader through five games, boasting a Big Ten-best 5.17-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, totaling 31 assists and just six turnovers. The sophomore has added more speed to Izzo's offensive attack, and recorded his first career double-double against OSU, totaling 12 points and 10 assists.

Last Meeting: North Carolina defeated No. 9 seed Michigan State, 81-67, in the East Regional second round in Winston-Salem, N.C., on March 17, 2007. Tyler Hansbrough scored 33 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Ty Lawson added 20 points and eight assists.

Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series with Michigan State, 7-3. The Tar Heels are 0-2 against the Spartans in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, losing in 1999 in Chapel Hill and in 2000 in East Lansing, Mich.

Projected Starters:
 1 Kalin Lucas (6-0, 180, So.) – 11.6 ppg, 6.2 apg
 5 Travis Walton (6-2, 190, Sr.) – 8.0 ppg, 3.4 apg
15 Durrell Summers (6-4, 195, So.) – 8.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg
 2 Raymar Morgan (6-8, 225, Jr.) - 17.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
14 Goran Suton (6-10, 245, Sr.) - 6.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg

Key Reserves:
41 Marquise Gray (6-8, 235, Sr.) – 7.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg
 3 Chris Allen (6-3, 205, So.) – 8.4 ppg
10 Delvon Roe (6-8, 225, Fr.) – 6.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg
23 Draymond Green (6-6, 235, Fr.) – 1.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg

MSU Info
Schedule
Stats
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Photo Gallery


Lucas ... Gray


Morgan ... Suton


Summers ... Izzo


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