Friday, March 27, 2009

Only the Heels remain

Many fans of the baby blue will tell you, "that's the way it should be," but North Carolina is the last ACC team standing in the big dance. There's no guarantee that statement holds true as they face Gonzaga before sunrise in Memphis.

Duke was shown the door by a very good Villanova team. Very athletic, high energy, and very well coached. Duke shot the ball poorly, but you have to credit the Wildcats for some of that. Duke went 16 of 60 from the floor (27%), certainly a combination of missing open looks and Villanova making it uncomfortable for the Devils to release shots. The Blue Devils finish the season 30-7, with the ACC Tournament title under their belts, and they look to be fairly decent next season as well.

As for Carolina and Gonzaga, the biggest question mark is Ty Lawson and his injured toe. Head Coach Roy Williams seemed a bit concerned during Thursday's media availability in Memphis, and coupled with Lawson's virtual non-participation in the open practice, one has to wonder. Carolina ran a "real" practice off site (at a gym other than the Fed Ex Forum), and then went through the motions for the cameras at the site. There was no word on what Lawson did at the "real" practice, but Williams told reporters that Lawson rated his toe a "6" on Wednesday, when it was an "8" before the LSU game last weekend in Greensboro. He also said that Lawson has not received any kind of injections on the toe since before the Duke game at the end of the regular season.

For the record, I have UNC beating Gonzaga tonight, but Oklahoma eliminating Carolina in the ruond of 8 in my brackets.

Speaking of brackets, Memphis' exit cost me my first Final Four team. I haven't looked at them yet, so I am not sure how that affects my shot at winning the SNBBC. I have to think, though, I am still in the mix.

Enjoy your Friday, and be sure to check out Sports Night at 10, and then live post-game coverage from Memphis of the Heels press conference, roughly 10 minutes after the game ends. WATCH AND SWITCH, PEOPLE!

Mike Solarte

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