Tuesday night's national title game rematch was billed as the headliner of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, with the experienced Spartans heading to Chapel Hill with revenge on their minds. But as Mick Jagger noted, "you can't always get what you want", and the young Tar Heels grabbed control of the game early with their offensive execution. Larry Drew II, who has played good basketball recently, ran the offense with speed and consistency in the first stanza and Dexter Strickland ended the half with a three-pointer as time expired.
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which the ACC has never lost, takes center stage for the next two days with Michigan State visiting North Carolina in the event's showcase game. The Tar Heels won both meetings last season by double-digit margins, at Ford Field in December and right back on that same floor for the national title in April. But many of the faces in Carolina blue have changed and the young Heels will be tested by a seasoned group of Spartans. The individual matchup to watch: North Carolina's Larry Drew going up against the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year in Kalin Lucas.
It's a busier Friday than usual due to a few in-season tournaments taking place this weekend. Tournaments in Puerto Rico and Charleston are into the semifinals while the championship and third-place games will take place in the Coaches vs. Cancer event in New York. Villanova/Dayton kicks things off at 3 PM on ESPNU while both games from Madison Square Garden can be seen on ESPN2 at 5 and 7 PM. But for as good as Syracuse/North Carolina and the opening semi in San Juan look there are also intriguing games not on national television.
CHAPEL HILL - The University of North Carolina men's basketball program signed two student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, head coach Roy Williams announced Thursday.
The Tar Heels signed Reggie Bullock from Kinston, N.C., and Kendall Marshall from Dumfries, Va.
Bullock attends Kinston High School where he plays for Coach Wells Gulledge.
Ranking players is more art then science. How do you compare the potential of freshmen with seniors who have already peaked? How much does physical talent come into play versus intangibles and experience? How big a role do numbers play?