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Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars and one of his key players, former Tar Heel Rasheed Wallace, were among the faces in the crowd.
Hansbrough played for just the fourth time in eight games, but the national player of the year looked sharp in 27 minutes.
"I knew he was going to play," Lawson said. "He's never going to sit out of a big game."
The 6-foot-9 forward missed the Tar Heels' first two games with a stress reaction in his right shin, didn't play against Chaminade in the Maui Invitation and sat out Sunday's game against UNC-Asheville for precautionary reasons.
Those are the only games the senior has missed in his career.
Michigan State was without its top frontcourt player, Goran Suton, and will miss him for at least two more weeks because he's scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery on his sprained left knee Thursday.
"It's been a nightmare for us," Izzo said.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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