Saturday, April 4, 2009

UNC eyeing early KO punch

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

The Tar Heels are threatening to make quick work of Villanova and, coincidentally, set up a rematch with the team they beat by 35 points in December in Detroit.

UNC leads 26-12 at 11:23 in the first half of the Final Four at Detroit's Ford Field. The Heels' shots are falling early, a good sign and the opposite of last year's Final Four exit to Kansas.

UNC has hit four of its first six 3-pointers. Ty Lawson hit his first 3, at 18:03, Wayne Ellington knocked down his triple at 16:52 and Danny Green hit a 3 at 14:51.

UNC shot 4-of-25 from 3-point range in last year's 84-66 Final Four loss to Kansas in San Antonio. UNC is 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 started 0-6 from 3.

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

-- J.P. Giglio