UNC, Williams take care of No. 1 again

December, 5, 2013
12/05/13
12:32
AM ET

AP Photo/Chuck BurtonRoy Williams (right) improved to 7-0 against Tom Izzo since taking over at North Carolina.
No starter scored more than 13 points, but North Carolina got 31 points from its bench and defeated No. 1 Michigan State 79-65 on Wednesday. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Carolina is the first team to beat the AP No. 1 team AND the defending national champion in non-conference, regular-season games in the same season since UCLA in 1986-87.

That year, the Bruins beat defending champions Louisville -- just as UNC did this season -- and No. 1 North Carolina.

It’s the Tar Heels’ 13th win against the AP No. 1 team, more than any other school and it’s the seventh time Roy Williams has beaten the AP No. 1 team, tied with Gary Williams for the most all time.

Williams is 7-0 against Michigan State as UNC’s head coach, and Carolina has won seven straight against the Spartans, improving to 12-3 against Michigan State.

The Tar Heels are the first unranked team in 10 seasons to go on the road and beat the AP No. 1 team in a nonconference game, and just the eighth team to ever pull that off.

It’s the second-earliest road win by date against the AP No. 1 team. The only one earlier was on Nov. 26, 1996, when Xavier won at No. 1 Cincinnati.

In Williams' seven consecutive wins against Tom Izzo since Williams became North Carolina’s head coach, the Tar Heels have outscored the Spartans by more than 16 points per game and have held them to just 36.5 percent shooting.

North Carolina shot just 2-for-11 from 3-point range, just the third team since the 3-point line was introduced (in 1986-87) to beat the AP No. 1 team on the road while making two or fewer 3-pointers.

The loss by Michigan State is its first at home against an unranked team since Jan. 27, 2011, snapping a 35-game win streak in such games.

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