Hansbrough's sensational performance against every big man MSU coach Tom Izzo could throw at him was an affirmation of his All-American status.
MSU's front line was in continual foul trouble, but managed to stay into the game late into the second half, at any points throughout held a lead of up to three points.
But North Carolina's relentless man-to-man defense, going 10 players deep eventually wore down the Spartans and they held MSU off the scoreboard for a four minute stretch in the second half to pull away from the outgunned Spartans.
"I really am proud of this team,"said Izzo. "I thought anybody that was a Spartan tonight should have been proud of their effort, and I don't say that very often."
Michigan State finished their season at 23-12, not bad for a team many predicted would struggle to field a respectable team after losing three starters to the NBA.
The Spartans will receive an infusion of talent when they add incoming freshman Chris Allen of Norcross, GA., Kalin Lucas of Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's and Durrell Summers of Redford (MI) Covenant. They also welcome redshirt freshman Tom Herzog, a 7-footer to the playing group.
All time MSU great Ervin "Magic" Johnson attended the game and briefly visited the Spartans locker room after the game telling the players to "work on their games" this summer and they would be back in the NCAA's again next year.