DETROIT — The top-ranked Tar Heels appeared to wear out No. 13 Michigan State during their 98-63 victory on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, UNC's still-energetic players didn't just run off the court after the game, they sprinted their way up a concrete ramp to their locker room.
"I told the guys if they played their tails off, I'd race them up that ramp,'' coach Roy Williams said. "And I did beat three guys -- none of them are playing right now ... but those are the only guys I beat."
AN INTERESTING VIEW: The raised floor configuration at Ford Field — which featured a couple of steps in front of each bench for players to walk on and off the floor — posed an interesting conundrum for the coaches: look up from the bench, or climb up to the court?
MSU’s Tom Izzo chose the former (even bringing a chair up onto the floor with him) from the beginning, and UNC coach Roy Williams eventually made it up there, too — after spending the first 10 minutes of the game eye-level with his players’ knees.
"It's a different perspective, sitting down below the court,'' Williams said. "As a coach, I'm not comfortable with that; it's something you're just not used to.
"... I'm used to looking at my guys' chests, but I'm not used to looking at their ankles."
HANSBROUGH RETURNS: All American Tyler Hansbrough said it was a sore left ankle, not the stress reaction in his right shin, that kept him out of Sunday's victory against UNC Asheville. The senior, who had missed four games because of the two injuries, finished with a healthy-looking 25 points and 11 rebounds against MSU on Wednesday.
"The shin is fine, the ankle bothered me a little bit,'' Hansbrough said. "When I do some movements, it hurts. I just need to rest it up."
He'll have some time. UNC doesn't play again until Dec. 13, giving Hansbrough — along with Danny Green, who banged his hip during the game; and Ty Lawson, who twisted his ankle but returned in the second half — time to heal.
FAMILIAR FACES: Faces in the crowd included former Tar Heels Rasheed Wallace and Pat Sullivan; Wallace plays for the Detroit Pistons and Sullivan is an assistant coach