2011 Carrier Classic: North Carolina Will Bury Spartans in Season Opener

Michael MillSenior Analyst IIINovember 11, 2011

CORONADO, CA - NOVEMBER 11:  David Dupont #22 of the North Carolina Tar Heels shoots a jumper in practice during the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic on board the USS Carl Vinson on November 11, 2011 in Coronado, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

College basketball is finally here.

Tonight, the No. 1 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels kick off their season against the Michigan State Spartans in the 2011 Carrier Classic.

The USS Carl Vinson was the carrier that was used to send Osama Bin Laden's corpse to its final resting place at the bottom of the ocean.

Tonight, the Tar Heels will attempt to bury the Spartans on the same carrier.

Last year, North Carolina finished with a 29-8 record and found themselves advancing to the Elite Eight in the tournament.

This year, they begin as the top ranked team in the nation.

The Spartans took a step back last year after a few promising seasons, finishing with a 19-15 final record. They are looking to rebound in a big way this season.

It's not going to start with their season opener.

Four of the Tar Heel starters tonight are currently on the Wooden Award watch list. As usual, there is no shortage of talent on this roster.

It all begins with sophomore forward Harrison Barnes. Last year Barnes averaged 15.7 points per game and 5.8 rebounds as a freshman. He is already the unanimous choice for the Preseason All-American.

Barnes leads what many consider to be the best front court in basketball.

Kendall Marshall, John Henson, Leslie McDonald and Tyler Zeller are all forces to be reckoned with. Barnes may steal the spotlight as the star, but all of these kids have unbelievable talent.

President Obama is in for a treat tonight. He gets to watch one of the most talented teams in the country kick off the college basketball season.