Michigan State had to play all the best teams to make it to the NCAA Men's Championship game, only to get dominated by the University of North Carolina. Considering it was played at a capacity crowd of almost 73,000 people in Detroit, I was hoping it would have been closer with the underdog (Michigan State) have a home crowd. I was wrong. After about five minutes into the game, it was basically over. The Tar Heels got a double-digit lead after a ton of turnovers from Michigan, and some excellent play in the paint, and they never looked back. The 55 points the Heels scored in the first half set a championship game record, and the 21 point lead also set the record for the largest deficit after the first half. Wayne Ellington basically could not miss a shot in the first half, and Tyler Hansbrough had a solid post up game throughout. When they needed him, Ty Lawson filled in any offensive gaps, and would settle the team down. Lawson finished with a team-high 21 points. The Spartans really had no answer for the Heels' big men, and could not match their intensity either. The closest the game got was when the Spartans starting clawing their way back in the second half, to bring it within 13, but it was not enough. The only surprise in this game was that it ended 89-72, because I was expecting the Heels to win by at least 20. When you have 21 turnovers (Spartans), do you really expect NOT to get spanked off the floor?
Who really was surprised though? After the Heels destroyed the Spartans by 35 points just a few months ago in December, what real chance did they have today? Even President Obama picked UNC to win the tournament. If it's any consolation, at least the Spartans now have a chip on their shoulder, and they are returning next year with virtually their entire roster, but with another year of experience under their belt.
Congratulations to UNC for the solid victory - the team did not let up even when the game was obviously out of reach. This is an impressive second title in just the past five years for the Heels.