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Gary Gramling

NCAA Heroes and Zeroes of the Day: Title Game


The college basketball season ended the way everyone thought it would: with North Carolina cutting down the nets. Read on to see who stepped up in the national championship game, and who took a step in the wrong direction...

 

TITLE GAME HEROES

Ty Lawson, North Carolina: Once again, Lawson looked like a man among boys on the court. And it wasn't even one of his best games. Lawson got it done at the line, hitting 15 of 18 on his way to 21 points, and added six assists with just one turnover. While he wasn't scoring a lot early, he repeatedly set up Carolina's bigs in the low block where they overpowered the Spartans. He also had a Final Four-record eight steals (though don't go nuts like Jim Nantz on that one -- a lot of those turnovers were passes thrown right into his hands).

Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina: Sure, this wasn't Psycho T's finest performance (18 points, seven rebounds). But he got the job done, all while taking a lot of fouls that weren't called. Hansbrough returned to school to get a title, and on Monday night he finished his mission.

Goran Suton, Michigan State: Suton was the one guy in green who offered any resistance on Monday night. He scored both inside and out, finishing with 17 points and 11 boards.

 

TITLE GAME ZEROES

Michigan State's decision making: The sad part is, North Carolina was beatable on Monday night. Michigan State just needed to play well. But they didn't. Not even close. If the Tar Heels were really on their game for 40 minutes, they might have won by 50. It wasn't that the Spartans didn't play hard -- they did. It's that their decision-making was awful all night, and they had sloppy turnover after sloppy turnover. Carolina didn't put that much pressure on them, but the Spartans still turned it over 21 times. Just an ugly way to end your season.

Those CBS pre-game intros: You know, the ones where the starting five for each team stands awkwardly and throws out meaningless catch phrases that someone at CBS wrote for them? I'm sad to see the Final Four end. But not having to sit through those intros again is a silver lining.

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