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Originally published Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Men's College Basketball | Tar Heels romp in favored venue

Top-ranked North Carolina was impressive in what it hopes will be the first of three games at Ford Field. Tyler Hansbrough scored the first...

DETROIT — Top-ranked North Carolina was impressive in what it hopes will be the first of three games at Ford Field.

Tyler Hansbrough scored the first basket of both halves and finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds, leading the Tar Heels to a 98-63 rout of No. 13 Michigan State on Wednesday night.

The Tar Heels (8-0) took control with an 11-3 run late in the first half, led by 14 at halftime, then built a 30-plus cushion in the home of the Detroit Lions and the 2009 Final Four.

Barring injuries or an upset, the first unanimous preseason No. 1 team in The Associated Press poll seems destined for a return trip to the Motor City.

The Spartans (4-2) started the season ranked sixth, but lost a lot of luster with an 18-point loss to Maryland last week.

They scored in the final seconds, narrowly avoiding the most-lopsided defeat of Tom Izzo's career. Iowa beat Michigan State by 36 in 1996 during Izzo's first season.

Michigan State's Raymar Morgan and Chris Allen looked like they belonged on the same court with the Tar Heels, scoring 17 and 13 points, respectively, but the rest of their teammates appeared overmatched.

Other Top 10 games

At No. 10 Tennessee 87,

UNC Asheville 69

Tyler Smith had the first triple-double in school history for the Volunteers (6-1). Smith finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, helping the Vols give coach Bruce Pearl career victory No. 400.

At No. 3 Pittsburgh 78, Duquesne 51

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Sam Young scored 23 points and DeJuan Blair had 14 points and 17 rebounds to help the Panthers overcome a sluggish start and beat their city rival. Jermaine Dixon scored 12 points as the Panthers improved to 8-0 for the seventh straight season.

Pac-10 games

At Utah 95, Oregon 81

Tyler Kepkay scored 23 points and the Utes (5-1) made a season-high 12 three-pointers to beat the Ducks (3-4), who were without leading scorer Michael Dunigan. Garrett Sim led Oregon with 28 points.

At California 77, DePaul 67

Jerome Randle hit three key three-pointers over the final 7:38 and finished with 24 points and six assists as the Bears (6-1) survived a sloppy second half to defeat the previously unbeaten Blue Demons (4-1).

Other game

Eastern Washington 63,

at Portland 58

Milan Stanojevic scored 17 points, all in the first half, and Benny Valentine had 15 to lead the Eagles (5-2) over the Pilots (4-2).

Notes

• Kentucky forward Ramon Harris was taken to a hospital after colliding with a teammate during Kentucky's victory over Lamar. Coach Billy Gillispie said preliminary tests were encouraging.

• The NCAA has turned down a request by Xavier guard Jordan Crawford to play for the 14th-ranked Musketeers this season.

• Wake Forest forward Jamie Skeen will not return for the spring semester after he was declared ineligible for the fall semester.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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