Monday, April 6, 2009

North Carolina-Michigan State: 5 things to watch

Just one win separates North Carolina from its second NCAA title in five seasons and the realization of a lifetime goal for seniors Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green.

Here are five things to watch in the championship game as the Tar Heels meet Michigan State at 9:21 p.m. Monday:

1. The pace. Michigan State got Kalin Lucas, Chris Allen and Durrell Summers out on the fast break to speed past Connecticut in an 82-73 win in the NCAA semifinals. Lucas said he wants to do the same thing against North Carolina.

“I want to push the ball up the floor every time,” he said. “We have some good wing players that can really run, and bigs that can get up and down the floor as well. . . .It’s going to be a track race.”

The Spartans had better hope it’s not so much of a track meet, because they don’t have anybody fast enough to keep up with North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson. If there’s a wide-open opportunity to run for an easy basket, Michigan State needs to take it. But it would be a mistake for the Spartans to just run for the sake of running.

2. Hansbrough vs. Suton. North Carolina center Tyler Hansbrough should be strong enough to overwhelm Michigan State’s Goran Suton in the post.

Suton didn’t play in the teams’ first meeting because of a knee injury, but he is not an incredibly effective post defender. If he is going to hurt the Tar Heels anywhere, it will be when Michigan State has the ball.

“Suton I think is a guy that, you know, is capable of shooting the 15-foot jumper and is a pretty good shooter outside,” Hansbrough said. “So it adds a little bit different aspect than some guys down low banging all the time. I understand he goes to the boards, is a good rebounder, but you also have to contest him outside.”

3. Banging on the boards. Three times in the last four games, North Carolina has been outrebounded by its opponent.

That includes Saturday night’s NCAA semifinal, when a smallish Villanova team posted a 53-48 rebounding advantage that worried the Tar Heels even though they won 83-69. Michigan State, which leads the nation in rebound margin at plus-9.4 per game, fought a huge Connecticut team to a 42-42 standstill on the boards.

“Every time I looked up, they’re getting an offensive rebound,” said North Carolina coach Roy Williams. “The announcer started saying, ‘That’s 14, 15, 16,’ So it is a huge concern, but it’s a concern any time you play Tommy’s teams.”

4. Spartans’ depth. Injuries have prevented North Carolina’s bench from being a strong point this season.

Michigan State, on the other hand, has outstanding depth. The Spartans got 33 points from their bench against Connecticut in the semifinals.

“When you can go 33 points off the bench, you’re probably a very, very deep basketball team,” said Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun.

5. Heels from three. North Carolina is shooting an astounding 46.3 percent from 3-point range in five NCAA Tournament games.

Danny Green, Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson all are over 40 percent, with Lawson hitting at a 60 percent clip. If the Tar Heels shoot better than 40 percent from 3-point range against Michigan State, it will be nearly impossible to defeat them because they do so many other things well.

- Ken Tysiac

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Michigan State by 7

Go Green

Go White

Anonymous said...

GO GREEN!

Go WHITE!

Michigan State by 11!

Anonymous said...

This game is a mismatch. The Heels only hear rumors of defense in the ACC. Michigan State wins with much less talent tonight because of their conference. Michigan State will never have more room to operate than they will tonight. UNC has not seen defense all year. Just becuase someone pounds the floor at Duke does not mean they play defense.

Anonymous said...

I guess when the Heels SMASHED them 98-63 in December Michigan State played that same awesome defense? Heels roll by 20+...

Anonymous said...

Go 'Heels!!

Anonymous said...

Its going to be a bad day to be a hater!

Anonymous said...

these post about what UNC has not seen this year are some of the funniest reading I have ever seen. UNC has four losses this year. All of those came within the ACC. No one outside of the ACC has even come close. We heard about all the match ups in this Tournament that were supposed to give UNC trouble and none of it has materialized. UNC may not win tonight. If it was a foregone conclusion, then there would be no reason to play the game. But if UNC does lose it will most likely be because they beat themselves. It should be a good game, but I still would not be surprised to see UNC win by double digits. They are on a mission and they will probably be more focused tonight then they have been all year.

FUNC said...

The #1 thing to watch is Hansborugh cry when they are beat.

Anonymous said...

No, the #1 fun thing to see is all the UNC haters crying right now on this very page.

Lynne said...

I love the Heels and hope for a victory tonight, however, they have to play their best game. I am not the Heels fan who hates other teams, but I do love the competitiveness and rivalries,in a good sportsmanship-like way.

May both teams play a great game, with no injuries, and result in the best team of the night winning. (I certainly hope it is a Tar Heel Blue win!)

GO HEELS!!!

James said...

The haters have been pounding UNC ever since the first game saying they won't advance past LSU, then OU, then Villanova... Well here we are at the championship game and again the haters actually think MS will beat UNC...lol
What will be the haters excuses in the morning when the headlines read "UNC again trounces competition to win National Title"...Lets see, Refs favor UNC, MS did not play their A game or they would have won, the crowd was to loud, the lights were to bright, the rims were to tight, they were calling for snow, ?????
I cannot wait to read these haters remarks, or maybe these Dook and State fans will crawl back in their holes and wait for another b-ball season when UNC will again dominate them and the hating starts all over again....GO HEELS

Anonymous said...

Q. Does anyone know what Carolina, Duke and NC State fans all have in common?

A. None of them went to school at North Carolina.

Tarheel Fan 4 Life said...

You know all the haters are talking about how Michigan has gotten better since the Tarheel crushed them in December. But lets not forget the Tarheel has gotten even better!! Can't wait to buy my Championship T-Shirt around midnight. Go Heels!!

Brendan said...

Heels by 12.

James said...

and I guess you never made it out of middle school because the below statement makes no sense....

Anonymous said...
Q. Does anyone know what Carolina, Duke and NC State fans all have in common?

A. None of them went to school at North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

You DO NOT have to attend a school to be a fan. That is the most ridiculous thing ever stated.

Most people have loyalties to the home university. In this state it is THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA.

Anonymous said...

OK James, you've proven me wrong. It seems you indeed did go to North Carolina. Not to worry though, I can rephrase it in knock-knock format if wish

James said...

knock knock, who's there, a team that is 2-0 against Dook, 4-0 in Cameron the last 4 years, has the ACC POY, finished 1st in the ACC, has the all time win record in NCAA tournament play, has the player that broke JJ's ACC scoring record, a team playing for the National Title, has more NCAA titles that Dook, and on and on and on????
UNC TARHEELS.....

Anonymous said...

No anon, the most ridiculous thing ever stated was "Change we can believe in"

P.S. James, your joke knock knock joke sucked

Anonymous said...

I don't know what Not going to that particular school has to do with anything. I didn't play for the Panthers, or didn't go to NASCAR Tech, does that mean I can not pull for the Panthers or for Jimmie Johnson? If you are a Carolina Fan, then its probably because you like to watch Art on the court, and enjoy the championships that come with being a fan.

Anonymous said...

North Carolina will fall apart in the 2nd half. MSU will pull off the upset. Hopefully, we will have refs that actually call the game.

Why can't we drink beer at the game? We need a rule change! We aren't on campus.

Anonymous said...

How far away is the NC from Detroit? NC fans do not travel well. Most NC fans are probablly bandwagen fans which is why they don't travel.

There were more UConn and Villinova fans in Detroit and NC fans.

Anonymous said...

Go Spartans!

The country's pulling for you!!

James said...

UCONN and Villanova are a lot closer to Detroit than NC....However, what does that have to do with UNC winning it all?
I see the refs are already being used as an excuse by the haters...You guys are a joke. If you lose, you lose; don't make excuses even before the game starts...GO HEELS

James said...

Anonymous said...
Go Spartans!

The country's pulling for you!!

WRONG!!!!!!! The ABC'ers are pulling for you.

Anonymous said...

Go Good Guys (MSU)

Dook_blows said...

Tom Izzo is a great coach, he is not to be underestimated. That said, the talent difference is way to much for MSU to overcome. UNC by 14. Congratulations to the best player to ever suit up in the ACC, you will be missed Tyler Hansbrough!!

Anonymous said...

Tyler Hansbrough & JJ Rededick the best players in ACC History? You got to be kidding right?

Anonymous said...

I think whoever said that UNC fans don't travel well was watching the women's Final Four...because I saw an awfully lot of Carolina Blue in Ford Field! And for once, will you people lose your blinders and open your eyes...MSU may be a good team but there is no way they can match up with the Heels, they've had great bench production but only when facing teams with weak benches. The Heels' bench could start on 90% of teams out there! No match!

Anonymous said...

Gotta rebound.

Gotta shoot better from the line.


Go Heels!!!

Walmart Tarhole said...

Anonymous said...
I think whoever said that UNC fans don't travel well was watching the women's Final Four...because I saw an awfully lot of Carolina Blue in Ford Field!


True, there are Walmarts everywhere.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Tar Heel fan, but I'm pulling for Carolina over MSU. Who cares about the "The state of Michigan is struggling and needs this win"! Come on, the entire country is struggling. The best team should win......and that's Carolina. Go Heels

Anonymous said...

NC basketball doesn't travel well. They never have. Who cares. What's wrong with watching at home from TV?

Anonymous said...

Tyler Hansbrough will be playing for some team in Europe in 3 years. He knows he can't play in the NBA which is why he was afraid to come out.

James said...

Anonymous said...
Tyler Hansbrough will be playing for some team in Europe in 3 years. He knows he can't play in the NBA which is why he was afraid to come out.

Says a bald, fat guy in his Lazyboy drinking a PBR with chili juice running down his stained yellow, "wifebeater" and wearing his Duke hat. Is that the best you have ABC'er??? Dook is at home watching on tv and cryin' in their beer because Henderson choked in the Villanova game and they got as far as their talent and coaching could get them. Angry Dook fans hating on Carolina because we are the better team and you think you are something because you won a little 3 day tournament. Well the talent came to the top and the losers went home....LOL dookies....GO HEELS

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:40pm Except for Tim Duncan the good ones on the next level always leave College early. Tyler Hansbrough will be as good or better than Christian Laettner & Danny Ferry.....

FUNC said...

James to be fair it is not only the duke fans that hate the tarholes. the vast majority of carolina fans makes it very easy to heat them

Anonymous said...

You haters must have lost your mind...we won't lose to a team weve beaten by 35 THIS YEAR because they have their slow white guy back!
Its going to be your worst nightmare tonight ABCers!!!!! WORST NIGHTMARE! And all you will be able to do is go to the fetal position....Heels roll by half, Heels roll by 20 on the final. Get use to it, and get off the board.

Anonymous said...

Yes FUNC. Please keeping heating us.

Anonymous said...

Michigan state has no chance at all of beating UNC. After tonight, you will all realize how right I am!!

Anonymous said...

FUNC no....the reason that people hate Carolina is because WE WIN. WE win CHAMPIONSHIPS, unlike your university. No one talks about Winthrop, or NCSU, or Wingate....Its better to be hated because that means your winning, SO HATE ON!

Anonymous said...

"Tyler Hansbrough will be playing for some team in Europe in 3 years"...............
Moron...Im pretty sure he KNOWS that...Name a white guy in the NBA thats relevant. THATS WHY HE STAYED AT NC. To win tonight. Who cares what he does in the NBA???? What matters is the 6th banner in the Dean Dome, that's his legacy. For the record what has JJ Reddick done in the NBA? EXACTLY! YOU MORON...

Anonymous said...

Off to Walmart at midnight to get my Championship gear..They and Dicks already have it in case you didnt already know. And you actually think MSU is going to do ANYTHING in this game tonight. Might even drink some wine tonight and eat some cheese while I try to recall who our football coach is. Oh it's a great day to be a Tarhole. Thats NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TARHOLES TO YOU MORONS! KEEP HATING!!!!LOVE IT!!!!!!

FUNC said...

Anonymous said...
Yes FUNC. Please keeping heating us.

April 6, 2009 3:52 PM

Yeah that seems jsut about right you moron. I will keep on "heating" you.

Anonymous said...

Thats cool...your "jsut" as much a moron....

Anonymous said...

In 2005, UNC beat MS in the Final Four to go on to win the National Title. Deja Vu.

Anonymous said...

James is a typical Tarheel fan. He probably loves the Dallas Cowboys too.

Anonymous said...

SPARTY ON!

Anonymous said...

UNC will beat MSU tonight and will bust a 100 points guaranteed... especially if MSU chooses to run!

While MSU is concentrating on slowing down Lawson, I guess the rest of the Tar Heels will be napping. Fat chance!

Tonight the future Tar Heel NBA pros will take care of business early!

Tonight a two-digits scoreboard will be one digit short! GO HEELS!

Anonymous said...

Tyler Hansbrough will be as good or better than Christian Laettner..."

OK, Tyler. Let's see you play 13 years in the NBA (10 as a starter), play in an All-Star Game, and win the Gold Medal in the Olympics.

Anonymous said...

All you ABC'ers, remember 2 things. Your team isn't there for a reason and jealousy is a BIT**!

Frankie said...

You experts have said it all, so there's no need to say anything other than 'Heels by 20 or more tonight.

Anonymous said...

GO SPARTANS! GO TO HE11 TAR HOLES!