Monday, April 6, 2009

Heels save the best for last

You can bury the ghost of Kansas.

The only thing Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and this North Carolina group will be remembered for is winning the 2009 national title.

Well, winning the national title and playing maybe the best first half in the history of the title game.

A focused and determined UNC team dispatched Michigan State 89-72 for their fifth NCAA title and second in five years.

They scored 55 points in a brilliant first half and led by 21 points at the break — both records in the national title game.

Michigan State's turnovers (21) and 3-point shooting (7-of-23) doomed its inspiring run and disappointed the home-state crowd of 75,000-plus at Detroit's Ford Field.

Each of UNC's past three title wins — Michigan in 1993 and Illinois in 2005 — have come against the Big Ten. The Heels have been especially good against Michigan State, going 5-0 in tournament games (Roy Williams is 3-0 against Tom Izzo).

Williams, once known as the coach who couldn't win the big game, improved to 6-5 in his career at the Final Four with two national titles, joining Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Calhoun and Billy Donovan as the only active coaches with multiple titles.

Kansas raced past UNC and its former coach in last year's Final Four, winning 84-66 in San Antonio.

So much of this season — right from Hansbrough, Lawson and Wayne Ellington's decision to return — has been about atoning for that missed step.

The Heels started Monday like a team on a mission, against a team considered to be on a mission — playing for the economic -ravaged city of Detroit and state of Michigan.

UNC hit six of their first seven shots (18 of 34 in the first half and 28 of 61 for the game), jumping out of the gates and all over an offensively-challenged MSU team, 22-7 in less than 6:30 minutes into the game.

The first half was a redux of UNC's 98-63 win over MSU on Dec. 3 in the same building. This game was supposed to be different — with the support of the white-clad crowd and the presence of Goran Suton — but it was never competitive after the opening minutes.

Ellington's 19 points — 17 coming in the first half on a blistering 7-of-9 effort — were apart of balanced scoring effort that featured 21 from Lawson (and eight steals) and 18 from Hansbrough.

Hansbrough ends his illustrious career as the ACC's career-leading scorer, UNC's career leading rebounder and a national champion.


-- J.P. Giglio

21 comments:

HEELS_RULE said...

UNC is in a class of their own this year. This proves they are among the best teams to ever lace the shoes up. And by the way, DUKE STILL BLOWS!!!

Anonymous said...

MICHIGAN STATE RULES!!!!!!!
WATCH THIS GREATASTIC COMEBACK!!!
GO SPARTANS!!!
GO DOWN TARHEELS!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey dookies, need some more chips and salsa.

CEREBRUM said...

UNC has but one mission tonight.

Win! Win! Win!

Anybody thinking otherwise needs to see a doctor soon. Watch the game in the ER!

GO HEELS!

Anonymous said...

KM and EB can both eat a basketball on this one!

Josh said...

ABCer's????

----- Jennifer ----- said...

your blog is very nice

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Heels. I wish it was a better game, but that isn't their fault. Best ever to lace 'em up? I dunno. That's a long and mighty list.

Anonymous said...

Heeeeeeeelllss!!!! ~`~`~`~

Anonymous said...

Any questions naysayers and haters? CONGRATS HEELS! Great game!

chris said...

GO HEELS! National Champs! ABC'ers, in your face and GO TO HELL! And you too KU!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome win. I will really miss these guys, especially the night in and night out lunchbucket work of Hansbrough. What a class group. I couldn't be prouder. And oh yeah, when guys from State are cutting the lawns of prigs from Duke tomorrow, they can both cry on each others' shoulders.

Anonymous said...

Mission accomplished. Su*k it Dook...and any other ABCers that are dumb enough to be online tonight.

Anonymous said...

This is great. Now everyone has to read 8 more stories per day about a school located 3 hours away. unc-chapel hill does not even have the highest number of alumni in Mecklenburg County. Why does the Observer pimp them more than the papers in the Triangle?

Anonymous said...

Carolina fans again prove why no one likes them. Not because they have a good basketball team, but because their fans are rude and ignorant. Putting down graduates of other universities? Extremely weak. And Carolina did not play the best first half of the championship game ever... Michigan State played the worst and just made it easy for them. Tarheels fans perpetuate the ABC state of mind.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to the Heels on this most impressive win! And to all the Haters out there whining about how Carolina fans are "rude" or "ignorant" or any other pejoritive you have in mind remember that we Tar Heel fans try throughout a season to maintain a stoic demeanor while listening to or reading all the anti-Carolina tripe that is heaped upon our storied program and our stellar players. Now, with the season ended and another national title coming to the Hill it is our DESERVED time to boast and preen and talk the smack that we stifled for the entire season.

To that end here's my 2 cents worth . . .

1) Duke - Shut up, sit down, and know your place! (Everybody thinks your team is overrated and guess what . . . they're Right! Even "k" didn't get a speaking part in the Guitar Hero commercial, but ol'Roy did! hahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahah)

2) Wake - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
enjoy the one big win you had this year, tell your kids about it, ya'll still blow!

3) State - . . . . . . maybe the red jacket should be returned the manager of the Red Roof Inn, the magic has been gone just like your "tradition"!

4) ALL THE "ABCers - bow down before THE KINGS OF COLLEGE BASKETBALL . . . THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS!!!!!!!!!!

And now EVERYONE can shut up about ol'Roy not being able to win with his own players.

Done!

panfan1 said...

Only their 5th title!! Wow! How impressive! Let's see. Break down the all the All American high school players that have gotten compared to titles. They stink it up in this category!Throw all the other stats & records away! The only one that matters is the big one & compared they have very few for the players they get each year!

Anonymous said...

YEEAAAAH HEELSZ...
NUM. 1
ALL DAY EVERYDAY!!!

Anonymous said...

Giglio, do you puke baby blue?? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

LOL!! Ha yeah for a second there I thought I was reading the Chapel Hill school newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Watch and Celebrate the Tarheels Championship!
Go to http://www.ioffer.com/i/102103533
NO# 5 and still counting!