Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tar Heels to play for title

UNC will face Michigan State for its fifth NCAA title after jumping out early on Villanova and hot shooting from 3-point range.

Saturday's semifinal was just about the opposite of last year's Final Four exit to Kansas for the Tar Heels.

UNC fell behind 40-12 against Kansas a year ago and finished the 84-66 loss just 4-of-25 from 3-point range.

UNC has hit 11-of-21 from 3 against Nova and led by as many as 17.

Villanova got as close as 50-45 on 18:15 in the second half on Shane Clark's baseline jumper. Danny Green responded with a pair of 3s, in an 8-0 UNC run, to push the Heels back to a comfort zone.

Historically, UNC has struggled to shoot 3-pointers in the semifinal round. The Heels began the day 2-6 in the national semifinals since 1987. In those eight games — all held at a dome — the Heels made 41 of 153 (26.7 percent) of their 3-point shots.

Villanova, conversely, has Dante Calabria/Shammond Williams/Rick Fox disease, missing its first six 3s and making just 3-of-25.

UNC's first visit to Detroit's Ford Field ended with a blowout win.

The Tar Heels are closing in on their second big win in Motown. UNC leads Villanova 75-63 with 3:47 left in the second half of the national semifinals.

The Heels will get a third game at Ford Field, in Monday's national title game, and it will be against the same team it beat by 35 points in December.

Michigan State beat UConn 82-73 in the first semifinal to advance to Monday's title game. UNC beat the Spartans 98-63 on Dec. 3 at Ford Field in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Ty Lawson, who hit his first 3 at 18:03 and set the tone for the Heels' shooting, has 18 points and seven assists.

Tyler Hansbrough, who had just eight points in UNC's regional final win over Oklahoma, has added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Wayne Ellington, who's 5-of-7 from 3, has 19 points. Green has 12 points, all on 3s.

Ellington and Green were a combined 4-of-18 from 3 against Kansas in '08. They are 9-of-16 tonight.

-- J.P. Giglio


CEREBRUM said...

One more game to go.

Villanova was a tough squad but the HEELS weren't going home tonight.

ACC vs BIG TEN on Monday!


AJ Johnson said...

MSU will be looking for redemption Monday night. I hope the Tar Heels go into this game with their heads on straight or they could be in for a rude awakening.
That said, Carolina should win this game by 9, but I wouldn't be upset if they pulled out another 35 point win! (Or if they win by 1!)

DOOK-BLOWS said...


Anonymous said...

edit: UNC will face Michigan State for its fifth NCAA title, and sixth National Championship, after jumping out early on Villanova....