UNC Basketball fights back to advance to the Sweet 16

It wasn't the best of starts for the UNC basketball program, but they fought back to defeat Michigan State in the Round of 32 on Saturday night.

Michigan State v North Carolina
Michigan State v North Carolina / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages
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Michigan State threw the first punch on Saturday night, but it was the UNC basketball program who ended up winning the fight.

441. Final. 69. 486. UNC MICH ST. 85

The Spartans were hot from the jump, as they took a 12-point lead under the midway point of the first half. From that point on, the tide shifted, as North Carolina took complete control of the game.

North Carolina went on to end the half on a 23-3 run to hold a 9 point lead heading into the locker room. Among that run was a 17-0 stretch, the first time a Tar Heels squad has put together that type of run in the NCAA Tournament since 2011.

Not only did North Carolina get strong performances from RJ Davis (20 points) and Armando Bacot (18 points), but also received stellar contributions from other key players as well.

Harrison Ingram tied his career-high with five three pointers as he finished with 17 total points.
Cormac Ryan knocked down some important free throws to finish with 14 points.
Jae'Lyn Withers and Seth Trimble provided a major spark off the bench, as Trimble recorded two big-time blocks that prevented Michigan State from scoring in transition.

The UNC basketball program didn't look like the better team at the start, as Michigan State came out looking to pull off an upset. Give them credit, they were the tougher team early on (as Hubert Davis' fired up interview early on indicated), but also give credit to the Tar Heels for rising to the challenge and for ultimately winning the fight.

North Carolina will now move on to the Sweet 16, as they'll take on the winner of Sunday's meeting between the No. 4-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide and the No. 12-seeded Grand Canyon Lopes.

Another win down for the UNC basketball program. Hopefully four more wins are on the horizon.

Next. Hubert Davis brings the heat in interview as Tar Heels go on massive run to end half vs Michigan State. Hubert Davis brings the heat in interview as Tar Heels go on massive run to end half vs Michigan State. dark