EAST LANSING, MICH. North Carolina faced a dilemma that will challenge Michigan State's opponents all season.
Which of the Spartans do you try to stop?
It's a difficult question to answer as the Tar Heels found out.
The third-ranked Spartans used a balanced attack to beat No. 6 North Carolina, 77-64, Wednesday night in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge game.
Jason Richardson led Michigan State (4-0) with 16 points, while Andre Hutson had 14 points and nine rebounds and Charlie Bell added 15 points.
Four others scored six or more points and a fifth player, Mike Chappell, made a key three-pointer midway through the second half.
Before the season began, Bell thought this team would be better offensively than the one that won last season's national championship.
Now he is sure of it.
"Last year, if you stopped Pete, we could be in trouble," said Bell, referring to Morris Peterson, who is playing for the Toronto Raptors. "Now, we just have so many weapons. If you try to stop one guy or one part of our game, you're going to be out of luck because so many guys can score."
Five players scored the first five baskets and the balanced scoring didn't stop there.
"We got a lot of play out of a lot of people," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "We had moments where we looked real good and moments when we looked kind of sloppy."
When North Carolina extended its zone defense, Michigan State scored inside. When it sagged its defense inside, the Spartans would find an open player on the perimeter.
"It's tough to really focus in and say what you are going to take away," North Carolina coach Matt Doherty said. "They run so many sets. Against a zone, most teams don't have as many zone offenses as they do man offenses. Coach Izzo must have about 50 set plays."
Kris Lang prevented North Carolina (3-1) from being routed by scoring a career-high 22 points on 11-of-16 shooting.
No. 4 Stanford 84, UC Riverside 41
Stanford, Calif. Jason Collins tied his career-high with 19 points, and his twin brother, Jarron, added 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Cardinal (5-0) took a 14-3 lead in the first five minutes and led by 20 points a few minutes later.
No. 5 Arizona 101, Gonzaga 87
Tucson, Ariz. Gilbert Arenas scored 12 of his 21 points in a late 20-6 run and Arizona made 34 of 39 free throws. Arizona (4-1), coming off a 72-69 loss to Purdue, was down 76-71 to the scrappy Bulldogs (3-1) with 7:42 to play. Michael Wright scored 25 points for the Wildcats.
No. 23 Wisconsin 78, No. 13 Maryland 75, OT
Milwaukee Kirk Penney scored five of his 18 points in overtime as Wisconsin handed Maryland its third straight loss. Penney, a sophomore who was 0-for-13 from the field in the Badgers' opener, hit a three-pointer on the first possession of overtime and Wisconsin (2-1) never trailed again.
No. 21 Virginia 98, Purdue 79
Charlottesville, Va. Chris Williams and Donald Hand each scored 24 points for the Cavaliers (4-0), who are off to their best start since the 1992-93 season. Joe Marshall had 19 points for Purdue (1-2), which was coming off a 72-69 victory over then-No. 1 Arizona.
No. 22 Cincinnati 82, No. 24 Dayton 75
Dayton, Ohio Steve Logan scored 21 points and Kenny Satterfield added 20, including some late free throws, as the Bearcats (3-1) used a suffocating full-court press to beat Dayton. The Flyers (2-2) were playing as a ranked team for the first time since 1974.
Texas A&M; 79, Morris Brown 46
College Station, Texas Andy Leatherman scored 15 points to pace Texas A&M.; Bernard King added 14 points and a career-high nine assists for the Aggies (2-2). Kavon Westberry led the Wolverines(2-5) with 14 points.