I resented North Carolina somewhat this season because they were so hyped up entering the year. Actually, starting off with last year’s Final Four, as soon as Kansas won it all, ESPN was already releasing it’s top five for the next season and they had UNC at the top spot. Then before this season began, everyone was talking about how good Carolina was. All I heard was that they could be one of the best teams ever, that they could go undefeated, and that they could score 100 points at will. Couple that with the endless praise for Tyler Hansbrough who returned for his senior season despite being the player of the year the previous season and it was easy to grow tired of the charade. Then when the Heels started off the ACC season 0-2, it was hard not to think that we were watching another underachieving team full of superstars. Turns out they may have taken their few lumps at the right time.
North Carolina was easily the best team in the country from start to finish. They beat Michigan State at Ford Field in Detroit back in December by 35 and then concluded the season with a 17-point win over Michigan State at Ford Field for the national title. They really played to their full potential during the tournament, showing how good of a team they were. The only time I really saw them struggle was in the second half against LSU. Even though the Tigers had them on the ropes, UNC still rallied for a 14-point win. The Tarheels proceeded to mow through the rest of the tournament field, crushing Gonzaga, Oklahoma, Villanova, and Michigan State in order. North Carolina was so brilliant they made it seem like none of those really good teams deserved to be on the same floor.
As I said before the game, I am quite satisfied with the outcome of the season because North Carolina more than earned the title, as did Roy Williams. They were worthy and deserving champions. One question though, why wasn’t Ty Lawson named Most Oustanding Player at the Final Four? 22, 7, and 8 against Villanova. 21 points and a tournament record 8 steals against Michigan State. Am I missing something? Anyway, congrats to North Carolina for the excellent season and extremely impressive tournament.