Tarheels! Tarheels! I am so pumped for this game tonight and supremely confident that UNC will pull out the victory. In saying this, UNC could definitely lose this game if they start off slow and allow the partisan Michigan State crowd to get behind the home team. If I wasn't a fan of either team I would probably root for Michigan State. I totally respect Tom Izzo as a coach and recognize that not only are they the underdog, but they are playing for the state of Michigan which has clearly been devastated by the economy.
It's funny, this will be the first UNC game I watch by myself at my apartment. Usually during UNC tourney games I lock myself in a room so I can concentrate, almost like I think UNC will play better if I concentrate harder. I guess maybe it is a sign of maturity that I can watch the games in bars and around friends, or maybe it is just because I am so confident in this UNC team.
Anyway, here are some of my thoughts on the game. The winner of this game will be determined by who gets the best performance out of their point guard. Ty Lawson has not only been the best point guard in the tournament, but in my opinion also its best player. Kalin Lucas is a really good point guard as well, but will have to outplay Lawson significantly for Michigan State to win. That is pretty much the theme of this entire game. Michigan State must play a great game to beat UNC. If they play anything less than great they will lose. In addition, UNC has more talent and more weapons, meaning they have more margin for error. Look at the Villanova game. UNC missed more free throws than I've seen them miss all year and still were never in danger of losing. I think rebounding is going to come in huge as well. Both teams are excellent on the boards but I think Ed Davis could be a huge X-factor in this game. With Davis, Hansbrough, and Danny Green crashing the glass, I think UNC will be able to dominate the paint. Goran Sutan could be another X-factor. His ability to get Hansbrough into foul trouble and also stay out of foul trouble himself could be a deciding factor in the game.
All in all UNC is just too deep and talented for Michigan State to handle. I think it will be a close game, maybe 8 points or less, but Michigan State will ultimately not be able to hang with UNC for the full 40 minutes. Whatever the outcome, both teams had a great run in this tournament and the schools should be proud of their accomplishments. There is too much hate now a days in the sports world. Instead of criticizing athletes and teams, how about we commend them for their accomplishments, unless of course you are T.O or the Cowboys.
One more final note. Today Michael Jordan was elected to the Hall of Fame. For anyone who thinks Kobe or Lebron is as good as Jordan was, please ask me for my Jordan DVD. After you sit down and watch that you will realize how foolish you were. No one can compare to Jordan's greatness. Though Larry Bird is my favorite player ever, Michael Jordan is the reason I started watching basketball and the reason basketball is my favorite sport. He was the greatest winner in sports history. Sure, Bill Russel won 11 titles but there were only about 8 teams back then and the competition wasn't nearly as fierce. Jordan refused to lose and played the game with a combination of toughness and finesse that will never be matched. For anyone who thinks Lebron or Kobe is better remember that in Jordan's day there was no hand check rule, so the game was much more physical. If Jordan played now he would average over 40 points a game easily. Off the court, Jordan made basketball global and attracted fans like no one had before or probably ever will. I am proud to say I was alive during the Michael Jordan generation.
Thanks again for reading my blog. I have gotten some really good feedback on it, so please keep it coming. Go UNC!