Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The headline for Robbi Pickeral’s post over at ACC Now says “Copeland leads Tar Heels to victory.”

Doesn’t sound quite right does it, but it’s true. Prior to the start of the Maui Invitational, there is this little event called the EA Sports Maui Invitational at the Xbox 360 Players’ Pary, and this year it was an all Tar Heel final.

Playing EA Sports’ NCAA Basketball ’09, the Tar Heels beat out foes from the other seven teams participating in the Maui Invite to advance to their friendly head-to-head duel: Ty Lawson vs. Mike Copeland.

Ultimately, Copeland defeated his Carolina teammate and friend. The victory was sweet for Copeland who doesn’t get too much playing time due to an offseason knee surgery.

“The knee’s feeling good, it’s getting strong,’’ he said, holding the videogame tournament’s crystal championship trophy. “… It’s nice to win something, with my teammates cheering, because I haven’t been playing.”

Evidently, Copeland and Lawson — who often face off during their spare time at home —were nominated by their teammates to represent UNC in the 16-player tournament. Lawson beat Chaminade’s Shane Hanson, then Oregon’s Teondre Williams to advance; Copeland topped Chaminade’s Jamar Berry and Alabama's Mikhail Torrance in order to face Lawson.

“Since Coach is here, my strategy is defense, defense, defense,’’ Lawson told the onlookers at one point. Had Ole Roy not been there, we wager the strategy would have been “shoot the rock, baby!”

During the final, teammates didn’t choose a favorite, although they shouted out plenty of advice, including “Put Danny in!”

(Getty Images)

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