DETROIT – Forget 40 minutes. North Carolina didn’t even need 40 seconds. Rebound, rebound, putback. Strip, rebound, putback. Game.
DETROIT – Forget 40 minutes. North Carolina didn’t even need 40 seconds.
Rebound, rebound, putback. Strip, rebound, putback.
Those two possessions, lasting all of 33 seconds early in the first half, were part of a blitz from which Michigan State never recovered. Oh, the Spartans managed to rally in the second half – or as much a rally as it can be when it cuts the deficit to 13 – but the Tar Heels’ early display of dominance removed any doubt that North Carolina is the best team in the country.
Speed, power, athleticism, depth – the Tar Heels had it all. And now they have a fifth NCAA title, their second in five years, after a 89-72 thrashing of Michigan State on Monday night.
“We came out strong,” Tyler Hansbrough said. “We wanted to get going from the gates. We knew there was going to be a big crowd there for them, and we wanted to take them out of it early.”
Ty Lawson had his usual all-around excellence, scoring a game-high 21 points and adding a record eight steals and six assists. Hansbrough closed out his college career with 18 points and seven rebounds. Wayne Ellington, the most outstanding player of the tournament, added 19.
But it wasn’t only North Carolina’s stars that did a number on Michigan State (34-4). Freshman Ed Davis finished with 11 points, only his eighth double-figure performance of the season, and eight rebounds. Deon Thompson had nine points – all in the first half.
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