North Carolina turned the most anticipated night in college basketball to one of the more forgettable championships in recent memory, blowing the home-town Michigan State Spartans out in a 89-72 final. After a brief lead(49 seconds to be exact), the Spartans would go stone cold from the outside, turning the ball over what seemed like every other possession, while Carolina blasted out of the gates with a 32-11 lead half-way through the first, on their way to a record breaking 55-34 halftime score. Carolina shot a blazing 54.8 % from the field while the Spartans shot themselves in the foot over and over on their way to 14 first half turnovers and dismal 32% from the field.
The second half faired no better, as Carolina cooled down from the outside, but MSU failed to cut into the lead as they also stayed cold from the outside. Ty Lawson played a great overall game despite only shooting 30% from the field, including 0-3 from three point land, but he did set the Finals record with most steals in a game(10). Four different guys scored in double figures, Ellington winning the Final Four's most valuable player award, putting in 19 on 7-12 from the field.
While Carolina was certainly the best team in college, I felt they were beatable (I had Louisville winning it all), and I even thought MSU had a chance in this championship, but that proved to be as wrong as all my other bracket picks this year. To me, it seemed like a bit of “Mike Tyson Syndrome” when teams faced the Tar Heels. When people would step in the ring with Mike, they were so scared, that they were already beat before he threw the first punch. It took a motivated Buster Douglas to prove he was beatable, but unfortunately, MSU wasn’t the motivated Buster Douglas last night, they were the sloppy, out-of-shape Buster Douglas and so were most of North Carolina’s opponents in the tourney. Take this for example, the last three teams they faced(Oklahoma, Villanova, and MSU) shot a combined 20% from three point range. While NC certainly had something to do with these low percentages, shell-shock and that “Mike Tyson Syndrome” played a big part also IMO. Regardless, they were the best team this year, this fan was just hoping that somebody could’ve looked Mike Tyson in the eyes and caught him with at least one right hook.
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