Something happened at the halftime of the Virginia Tech game. Since that break, North Carolina has looked like the team that was projected number one in the nation before the season started.

On Thursday, they took care of N.C. State with little resistance, fueled by tough defense, dominating inside play and open court fast breaks. North Carolina won 74-55.

Tyler Zeller had a monster game going for 21 points and 17 rebounds on the night. The 17 rebounds were a career high for the senior. Reggie Bullock was inserted into the starting lineup for injured Dexter Strickland and Stilman White spelled Kendall Marshall for 5 minutes. Coach Williams is having to be creative in backing up his point guard with Strickland out for the season. Marshall played 34 minutes in the game. 

Harrison Barnes had 15 points while Reggie Bullock chipped in 11. Marshall dished out 11 assists in the game.

The Tar Heels defense held the Wolfpack to 36.8% from the field in the game and forced 17 N.C. State turnovers. 

Roy Williams appeared pleased in the post game press conference, "We were really good for certain parts of that game, there's no question about that," Williams said.

North Carolina moves to 17-3 and 4-1 in the conference and will be back in the Smith Center on Sunday to host Georgia Tech.

(photo of Tyler Zeller courtesy of  Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)