Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Michigan State trounces North Carolina for PK80 Invitational title
Michigan State looked every bit the contender for an NCAA championship on Sunday night.
The No. 4 Spartans trounced No. 9 North Carolina, 63-45, in the championship game of the PK80 Invitational Victory Bracket in Portland, Ore.
Michigan State (5-1) held North Carolina (5-1) to 25 percent shooting from the field, the worst in UNC program history.
“I thought our defense was really, really good,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo told ESPN. “Our offense, we hung in there.”
The Spartans, who lost to No. 1 Duke earlier this month at the Champions Classic, served notice that it is a force to be reckoned with and have a legitimate shot to earnIzzo his second NCAA title.
Joshua Langford looked like the best player on the floor, scoring a career-high 23 points for Michigan State. Nick Ward was dominant inside, going for 7 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. Miles Bridges added 11 points and 5 rebounds.
Michigan State led 37-23 at the half.
Theo Pinson led North Carolina with 16 points and 6 rebounds.
North Carolina junior forward Luke Maye entered the game averaging a double-double but was not a factor at all because of the Spartans’ interior defense. He finished with 8 points on 3-of-13 shooting
No. 1 Duke was set to meet No. 7 Florida in the other PK80 championship game later Sunday.
Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.