J.P. TOKOTO had 12 points and a career-high 10 rebounds to help visiting North Carolina beat No. 1 Michigan State, 79-65, last night, giving the Tar Heels another impressive victory in their inconsistent season.
The Tar Heels (5-2) have been talented enough to defeat the top-ranked Spartans and then-No. 3 Louisville this season, but they've also lost to Belmont and UAB.
Michigan State (7-1) fell to an unranked nonconference team at home for the first time in more than a decade.
The Tar Heels took control from the start, never trailed and used a 12-1 run to take a 65-52 lead with 6:02 left.
Kennedy Meeks scored 15 points for North Carolina and Brice Johnson had 14. Marcus Paige and Nate Britt added 13 apiece.
Gary Harris had 17 points and Keith Appling scored 13, but both Michigan State guards missed 10 of 15 shots.
Adreian Payne had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Spartans, whose last loss at home against an unranked nonconference team was Toledo on Dec. 30, 2002.
The Tar Heels beat a No. 1 team for the first time since March 4, 2006, at Duke, and they have a nation-high 13 wins over top-ranked teams. They've won seven straight against the Spartans, including in the 2009 NCAA final.
Tokoto, who is from Wisconsin, has taken advantage of an expanded role while P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald sit out because of NCAA eligibility concerns.
In other Top 25 games
* At Virginia, Josh Gasser scored 11 points and No. 8 Wisconsin won a defensive struggle against the Cavaliers, 48-38, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, giving coach Bo Ryan his 300th career win with the Badgers.
The Badgers (9-0) extended their best start since opening 11-0 in 1993-94.
"It was so hard to get good looks, and even when you did get good looks, they were hurried," said Ryan, of Chester. "That was two teams just really beating people to positions, rotating, making it difficult to get easy baskets. There weren't a lot of easy baskets in that game."
London Perrantes led Virginia (7-2) with eight points.
* At Ohio State, LaQuinton Ross scored 17 of his 20 points in the first half, hitting his first four three-pointers, to lead the No. 5 Buckeyes (7-0) to an early lead and a 76-60 victory over Maryland in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
* At Louisville, Montrezl Harrell scored 14 points to lead five players in double figures as the seventh-ranked Cardinals (7-1) routed Missouri-Kansas City, 90-62. The Kangaroos (1-6) are coached by former Louisville assistant Kareem Richardson.
* At Dayton, Matt Kavanaugh scored 11 points and the No. 25 Flyers (7-1) overcame a sluggish first half, poor free throw shooting and a late slump to defeat Delaware State, 56-46.