There are certain games that are always destined to have some shocking twists and Michigan State versus North Carolina always seems to be one of them.
On Wednesday, the top-ranked Spartans (7-1, 6-1 home) found themselves completely overwhelmed in the Breslin Center by a dominant Tar Heels (5-2, 2-1 away) team and were pummeled 79-65. Looking sluggish and out-matched, MSU had only 12 assists (their fewest in a game this season) and allowed UNC to score 44 points in the paint (their forth most since the start of last season. This makes North Carolina the third team to beat the AP No. 1 team on the road while making two or fewer three-point field goals since the three-point line was introduced in 1986-87.
"One of the more disappointing performances of my career here," Izzo said after the game. "From the jump ball, they kind of took it to us."
North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, whom Izzo has never beaten while he has headed the Tar Heels since returning to UNC in the 2003-04 season, said it was just a simple matter of his players wanting it more.
"Michigan State did not want it that much more than we did," Williams said.
Izzo couldn't argue that fact.
"We looked soft," the dejected Izzo added.
North Carolina had surprised many by beating the No. 3 team in the country earlier this season in Louisville, but followed that up with losses to Belmont and UAB. It had only been three days since their loss to UAB when the Tar Heels walked into the Breslin Center on Wednesday night, and they were ready to find some redemption against their old foe in No. 1-ranked Michigan State.
"They came off a loss and they looked hungrier," Izzo said. "We came off all the hype and we looked not as hungry."
Izzo has always said that all that matters is March, but still, after an embarrassing loss like that, it's no doubt hard to move on.
Regardless, the Spartans were bound to lose eventually - many just never thought it would happen in such a dominating fashion.
You can follow MSU writer, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro.