CORONADO, Calif. (AP) — With President Barack Obama watching from midcourt, No. 1 North Carolina beat Michigan State 67-55 on Friday night in the Carrier Classic on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson.
Harrison Barnes scored 17 points and John Henson had 12 points and a career-high nine blocked shots as the Tar Heels put their size advantage to good use. Michigan State’s Draymond Green had 18 rebounds.
Fitting with the Veterans Day theme, the Tar Heels and Spartans had U.S.A. rather than their names on the back of their jerseys, which had a camouflage design. At dusk, the game was paused for the lowering of the American flag. The players gave their jerseys to servicemen after the game.
Obama watched intently, chatted with wife Michelle and service members seated near him, and at one point appeared to check his BlackBerry. When the game ended, he applauded and then shook hands with coaches Roy Williams and Tom Izzo.
North Carolina has beaten Michigan State six straight times, including in the 2009 national championship game.