Saturday, April 4, 2009

UNC closing in on blowout win

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

The Tar Heels are closing in on their second big win in Motown. They are beating an undersized and overwhelmed Villanova team and they are on their way to a rematch with the same team they beat by 35 points in Detroit in December.

UNC leads Villanova 59-49 with 12:22 left in the second half of the national semifinals. The Heels' shots are falling and they started quickly, just about the opposite of last year's Final Four exit to Kansas.

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

UNC has started 6-of-9 from 3 and been up by double-digits since the opening minutes.

Historically, UNC has struggled to shoot 3-pointers in the semifinal round. The Heels are 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 1-of-8.

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. UNC's pursuit of a fifth NCAA title will begin at 9:21 on Monday.

-- J.P. Giglio