Saturday, March 28, 2009

HEALTHY HEELS TOO MUCH FOR ZAGS

No. 1 NORTH CAROLINA 98, No.4 GONZAGA 77 – NOTE TO OKLAHOMA: If Bobby Frasor cans back-to-back three pointers, you’re in trouble.

Never mind their defensive lapses, when the Tar Heels score in the nineties, they’re hard to beat.

After all the talk all season long about reigning National Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough and the deep cast of characters surrounding him, the book on North Carolina is now short and sweet – It’s the Ty Lawson Show. Period.

Last night, demonstrating their depth, nine Tar Heels scored and four were in double figures. But, Lawson stole the show scoring 17 of his 19 points in the first half. Tyler Hansbrough added 24 points and 10 rebounds, Wayne Ellington scored 19 points and Danny Green added 13 for the Tar Heels (31-4), who reached the regional finals for the third straight year.
There was no jumping for joy afterward for this team – after losing to Kansas in the national semifinals last year, there was still work to do.

North Carolina led by as many as 17 in the first half, and for a while it seemed the Tar Heels might go the entire half without a turnover. Ellington finally gave the ball away with an offensive foul with 5:53 to play.

The only blemish for North Carolina in the first half -- 9-of-18 free throw shooting that enabled the Zags to stay in the game.

Lawson shot 6-of-7 in the half, picking up where he left off the previous game, when he scored 21 of his 23 points after halftime in a second-round win over LSU.

North Carolina shot 52.7 percent from the field and 57.9 per cent from the behind the arc.

(Photos by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

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