DETROIT (AP) -North Carolina set first-half records for points and the biggest lead in an NCAA championship game, pulling away to a 55-34 lead over Michigan State on Monday night.
The Tar Heels, looking for their fifth national title, dominated the Spartans in even more impressive fashion that they did in a 35-point victory on this same Ford Field court Dec. 3.
Wayne Ellington was 7-for-9 from the field, including making all three of his 3-point attempts, and had 15 points for North Carolina, which shot 54.8 percent (17-for-31) in the half. The Tar Heels were just as dominant on the defensive end, forcing the Spartans into 12 turnovers, two less than they averaged for a game this season.
The Tar Heels had a 17-7 lead less than 5 minutes into the game, and it was 34-11 with 9:44 left when Tyler Hansbrough made two free throws to cap a 10-0 run.
ing. It was loud when they cut it 48-30 with 2:58 to play on two free throws by Travis Walton, but the Tar Heels didn't let up. A jumper by Kalin Lucas with 39 seconds to go brought Michigan State within 55-34.
The most points in a first half in a championship game before Monday night were Syracuse's 53 against Kansas, led by current North Carolina coach Roy Williams, in taking an 11-point lead in 2003.
The most points in any half of a championship game were the 57 scored by Indiana in the second half against Michigan in 1976.
The previous biggest halftime lead was 18 points, by Ohio State over California in 1960 and UCLA over Dayton in 1967.
The biggest halftime deficit overcome in a championship game was 10 points by Kentucky against Utah in 1998.

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