UNC 84 Louisville 74

FINAL FOUR BOUND!

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Hansbrough has his “no way in heck we are losing this game” moment and carries UNC to their 17th Final Four.

Over a year ago, the Heels faced Georgetown in the East Regional Final and squandered a 10 point lead down the stretch to see their season come to an end short of the Final Four.  In the 2008 East Regional Final UNC again found itself in a tough dogfight having given up a double digit lead when Tyler Hansbrough willed this team to the Final Four.  And make no mistake this was all about Hansbrough, especially in the 2nd half.

This was the game at Duke all over again.  UNC came out in dominant fashion and controlled almost every aspect of the game to build a 12 point halftime lead.  The problem you have when playing a well coached team with a head man who has been to five Final Fours is adjustments do happen.  And credit the Cardinals for coming out in the 2nd half and doing multiple things better on offense and to force UNC into more outside shots versus working for points on the inside..  The transition game was lost to some changes in the UL press which did not allow Danny Green, Marcus Ginyard and Wayne Ellington to run the court on the break. In fact Green and Ellington completely vanished save some good defense Green played down the stretch.   Ty Lawson was quiet in the scoring aspect of his game but made a huge three in the corner to move the lead from 4 to 7.  Lawson also had nine assists in one of his best games at running the pure point guard aspects of his position.

And while UNC got contributions from Deon Thompson and Alex Stepheson to go along with some key rebounding by Ginyard, it really came down to Hansbrough stepping up to hit big shot after big shot.  Ths is what a NPOY does.  28 points and 13 rebounds with the season on the line is the hallmark of a great player and in leading this team to 36-2 and two wins from a national title.  And in this case Hansbrough simply did not hit shots inside or grab rebounds for putbacks, not that is easy but pulling up from the 15-18 foot range drilling jumpers demonstrates to the Nth degree how badly Hansbrough wanted this one.    The confidence to take such clutch shots comes from his relentless work ethic to practice these things every day in practice.  Knowing you can make shots when your team needs it put this kid in a very special class, so special even Rick Pitino went as far as to say he has never seen a player work so hard on every possession as Hansbrough which is quite a statement considering where Pitino has coached.

In the end Hansbrough was tremendous and this team once more showed just how cool they can be under pressure.  This Tar Heel team possesses something special when it comes down to the brass tacks.  The nature of the game, the opponent, the style and even the score does not seem to matter.  Pure and simple, these Heels find a way no matter what it takes and if they find that way just two more times, these Heels will be national champions.

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12 Responses to UNC 84 Louisville 74

  1. william says:

    This is a TEAM sport and Louisville made adjustments apparently to shut down our guards and swingmen and Tyler stepped up and did what had to be done, arguably dominating the far bigger Padgett–the runner-up for Big East POY, I believe.

    Get ready for a week of annoying build-up:

    “North Carolina will meet either Kansas or Davidson, who meet in today’s Midwest regional final, in Saturday’s national semifinals.

    The story line in either case will be compelling — Tar Heels coach Roy Williams’ first showdown with the Jayhawks since bolting Lawrence for his alma mater five years ago, or a second meeting with Stephen Curry and the efficient Wildcats.”

  2. william says:

    How many programs did Larry Brown leave on probation:

    http://acc.starnewsonline.com/default.asp?item=2177698

    What Is It, 18 Or 17?

    According to the game notes released by the North Carolina sports information department, the Tar Heels and UCLA are both making their 17th appearances in the Final Four next weekend in San Antonio. However, the Bruins have actually advanced this far 18 times in their illustrious history.

    The twist is that UCLA’s 1980 appearance, when it lost in the national title game to Louisville, was vacated by the NCAA because it violated NCAA rules. That’s why Carolina doesn’t acknowledge it and says the programs are even.

    CBS and the NCAA list UCLA’s mark as 18.

  3. Wilson says:

    What a game!!!!!

  4. C. Michael says:

    ANyone else see the potential for this FF to have a strong resemblance to the 1993 FF? Three blue-bloods (UNC, UK, and KU, then; UNC, UCLA, and KU, now) and one upstart, rebel/outlaw program that is supremely athletic (Michigan and Memphis). Let’s hope the results are the same!!

  5. Johnny says:

    Credit Pitino with writing the best script on how to stop the Heels. 1. Full court press aimed not at turning the ball over, so much as slowing the break. 2. Pack it in. 3. Rebound. 4. Attack the basket with guard penetration.

    Fortunateley, npt many teams have the skills to do that (though L’ville made it close) . Also, the Heels got Louisville to be sloppy with the ball in the first half. And of course, Hansbrough was a beast in the second half. Bilas kept saying he can’t normally make those shots. It’s clearly just that those shots are not normally a part of the offense as Roy would rather have Tyler in good rebounding position when a shot goes up.

  6. BigDaddyDoc says:

    Dear Michael Beasley and K-State Nation:

    28 points on 12/17 shooting to go with 13 rebounds in an Elite 8 game. Singlehandely willing a team into the Final Four when two chief weapons go AWOL in the second half against a championship-caliber team with a coach who has been to 5 Final Fours.

    Your boy is nice, with some great stats, but this game is why Tyler Hansbrough is National Player of the Year.

    Sincerely,
    The Rest of America

  7. Russell says:

    Louisville Loses a Lot
    or
    How to Found a Dynasty in Perpetuity:
    Have the Lady Heels hook-up with the Gent Heels. All of the offspring receive full athletic scholarship options at birth.
    Russell

  8. Wilson says:

    K-State Nation….that’s a joke.

  9. 52BigGameJames says:

    lol Russ–gives new meaning to the term “blue-genes”!

  10. Russell says:

    eeuuuuwwwwwww…52!

    To Johnny above I wanna say Thanks for some illuminating b-ball analysis. I like that.

  11. brenda clark says:

    Go Heels! I’m temporarily transplanted to PAC-10 land but my heart is always with Carolina.

  12. Silent Sam says:

    Something’s wrong with my TV.
    It showed the final score to be UNC 83 Louisville 73 . . .

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