Season Rewind: North Carolina's closest game in the tournament thus far came against Oklahoma, a 12-point victory; the Tar Heels have cruised through all of their games, and not faced any kind of close finish.
There were questions in regards to just how much of a factor the pro-Michigan State crowd would be in the first semifinal. While the majority of a record 72,456 people was heard throughout the Spartans’ 82-73 victory, Connecticut had a much tougher time boxing out the five eligible players on the floor. Although the teams tied with forty-two rebounds apiece, the Spartans took advantage of their eighteen offensive caroms and controlled the flow of the game in the second half.
A couple things to note: Look how weak these teams are at small forward, and mostly at power forward as well. On the flip side, look how great all 4 of these teams are at point guard and at center (especially if I swapped Hansbrough as a center in place of Thompson).
Saturday's later Final Four game matches the champions of the South Regional, #1 North Carolina (32-4, 13-3) against the East champions, #3 Villanova (30-7, 13-5).
Season Rewind: North Carolina came in to the season as the undisputed #1 team. While the Heels dropped from that perch after a tough week in early January, they've gone 18-2 over its last 20 games. The Tar Heels have been especially strong in the tournament, winning every game they've played by double digits, including a 21-point beat-down of Gonzaga and a comfortable 12-point win over Oklahoma.
The Story: Blake Griffin, the leading rebounder in the nation, was the only unanimous selection for the All-American team. Griffin received 71 first-team votes. The voters submit the ballots before the NCAA tournament. The Sooners were bounced from the tournament yesterday by North Carolina, led by fellow All-American Tyler Hansbrough. Hansbrough was a unanimous selection last year while also being named the consensus player of the year as a junior. This is the fourth straight season that he has earned All-American honors.
And then their were four. Pitt and Villanova put on a performance for the ages, with Scottie Reynolds buzzer-beating layup sure to be replayed for many years to come. While Reynolds was the man of the hour for Villanova, he wasn’t good enough to crack CHN’s five man All-Elite Eight squad.