By Bryan Mongeau-Eastmond, staff writer
DETROIT (RPRN) 04/05/09– North Carolina, the overwhelming favourite in Saturdayâ€™s NCCA semi-final game against No.3 Villanova, did not disappoint. The top-seeded Tar Heels were once again nearly-flawless as they throttled the Wildcats 83-69 last night at Ford Field in Detroit.
In the earlier game, No. 2 Michigan State defeated top-seeded university of Connecticut 82-73. The winners will meet tomorrow at the national championship game at ford field. According to Las Vegas sports consultants, North Carolina are seven-points favourites to win their fifth championship.
Despite being troubled by a toe injury since the beginning of the tournament, Ty Lawson continues to produce. He scored 22 points for the Tar Heels (33-4), while his teammate Wayne Ellington added 20 on the night. Lawson is averaging 20.3 points in this tournament and has 20 assists and two turnovers in three games.
North Carolina led 49-40 at the half and would not allow their opponent to cut into that lead for the remainder of the game. The Wildcats had an off-night, shooting a low percentage from the field, while the Tar Heels used three-pointers to increase their lead, shooting 11 of 22 beyond the arc.
Coming off one of their best defensive performance against Oklahoma, the defending national champions were tremendous in stopping aggressive ballhandlers from getting to the rim. This was a major issue for this ball club entering the game.
Those rumours have been temporarily put to rest holding the Wildcats to 69 points.
No question that this team is playing better defensively as the tournament advances and are finally getting recognition for their tenacious D.
Carolina has had many great performances in the NCCAâ€™s magical history. The tar heels won their most recent title in 2005 and will be looking to be on top of the college basketball world.
In the earlier Final Four match, Michigan (31-6) steeped up to the plate and defeated Connecticut in a game that saw many lead changes. To the relief of many supporters in attendance, Michigan will advance to the championship game.
The Spartans were in the unique position of playing in a Final Four in its home state.
Kalin Lucas, the Spartanâ€™s high scorer, banked in 21 points in a solid performance to place his team in the big dance.
Connecticut came out flat in the second half and didnâ€™t resemble that dominating team throughout the entire tournament.
Photo courtesy of the NCCA.
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