Once isn't enough for North Carolina and Michigan State. Twice isn't either. The two will play each other for the third time in 12 months at 9 p.m. today in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge Series game at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill. The game will feature the teams from last season's NCAA Tournament final, which UNC won 89-72 at Detroit's Ford Field.
Spartans, Heels will go at it again
The Winston-Salem Journal
Late in the first half against Gardner-Webb last Monday, North Carolina's John Henson made an acrobatic block near the baseline, chased the errant ball toward the corner of the court and saved it with a Gumby-like bounce-pass between his legs - beginning a fast break that ended with a Dexter Strickland layup.
The move would have been highlight material anyway, just for the sheer fact that it showed off the 6-foot-10 freshman's NBA-caliber athleticism. But it also remains memorable because, surprisingly, most of his play has been pretty forgettable so far.
UNC's Henson aims for more flair
The News and Observer
North Carolina senior Deon Thompson admits he took time out earlier this fall to watch a replay of the Tar Heels' national championship showdown against Michigan State. But Thompson didn't get that far into the viewing before shutting the DVD player down.
UNC, Michigan State familiar foes in challenge
The Fayetteville Observer
North Carolina senior Deon Thompson is the only returning starter off the 2009 NCAA championship squad, and he has watched the film from the title game victory over Michigan State just once.
Even then, Thompson said, he only watched the first half.
UNC faces Spartans in Challenge
The Durham Herald-Sun
It's hard to ignore this Michigan State / North Carolina game on so many fronts.
A rematch of the last national championship game. A Top 10 showdown. A third meeting in a year's time.
Regardless of the outcome Tuesday night, North Carolina keeps its national championship hardware earned in April.
Tar Heels welcome Spartans for national title game remeatch
The Burlington Times-News
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo hasn't forgotten how it felt to watch North Carolina roll through his team in last season's national championship game and put a damper on the Spartans' thrilling run through the NCAA tournament.
But Izzo said the loss won't serve as motivation when the No. 9 Spartans travel to face the 10th-ranked Tar Heels tonight in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
"I won't use it at all because we got beat by 100," he said. "It was close to 100 it seemed like anyway when I was sitting there. They're a different team and we're a different team in some ways."
Izzo and the Spartans (5-1) can only hope that new year-new team approach leads to a new result, too.
Mich. St. awaits marquee matchup
The Associated Press
Consider the incentive for Michigan State as it prepares tonight to enter the lair of nemesis North Carolina.
Roy Williams' program, winners of two of the past five national titles, is the reigning king of college basketball. That ascent has included key victories over Michigan State - in the 2005 Final Four, the 2007 NCAA Tournament's second round and the 2009 national title game.
Spartans looking for a little payback
The Lansing State-Journal
North Carolina's post season destination is looking more and more like Nashville, Tenn.
UNC's bowl picture is clearing
The Fayetteville Observer