Friday, March 28, 2008


Word from the pundits was that this game was about defense – Washington State’s defense. Turns out they were right about one thing, but wrong about the other.

Washington State’s defense slowed the Tar Heels torrid pace, but it was Carolina’s defense that stifled the Cougars and led to another easy UNC win. When the stats were tallied, the Heels held Washington State to 32% shooting in a 68-47 wins.

Danny Green had 15 points and 5 rebounds in 23 minutes to help Carolina (35-2) set a school record for victories in a season while continuing their dominant tournament run. Tyler Hansbrough scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half. Carolina out-rebounded the Cougars 46 to 32.

North Carolina improved to 24-1 in NCAA games played in its home state, including 7-0 in Charlotte Bobcats Arena. The 47 points were the fewest allowed by the Tar Heels in an NCAA game since 1946, especially impressive after a season in which Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams constantly implored his team to step up its defensive intensity.

Green’s performance of the bench is particularly compelling. In Carolina’s 2005 championship season they had three players they could count on to score – Sean May, Raymond Felton and Rashad McCants. This year they also have three primary scorers in Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington, but the wild card for this year’s UNC squad is the scoring ability of Green.

Kyle Weaver #25 of the Washington State Cougars goes up for a shot against Danny Green #14 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2008 NCAA Men's East Regional Semifinal. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Derrick Low #2 of the Washington State Cougars is covered by Marcus Ginyard #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2008 NCAA Men's East Regional Semifinal. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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