Last summer, Ty Lawson got ticketed for underage drinking and then driving (although not a DWI), which apparently kept the Pacers from drafting him in the first round which led to his return to school. Whoever that cop was, UNC fans are likely to send him bouquets Tuesday morning. He's not on the team, but he's partly responsible for the title.
Nobody can say they didn't earn it. UNC won their fifth title and their second this decade, behind strong games from Ty Lawson, who had seven steals in the first half, and Wayne Ellington, who had 17 points in the first half despite drawing Michigan State's best defender, Travis Walton.
The general consensus was that the Spartans would have to slow down UNC, which they failed to do. It's really hard to do when you turn the ball over 14 times in the first half. Obviously UNC's defense - often criticized, including here - is a huge part of that, but perhaps it's also Michigan State's fault. It's not as if they haven't played these guys lately.
For UNC, of course, it's the fifth title, and the second for Roy Williams, which is impressive. Like a lot of guys who are successful but not ultimately successful at a certain point in their career (Coach K and Dean Smith went through this as well), Williams was laughed at for his "inability" to win the big one.
So much for that.
He's not our guy, and we don't like his smarminess, or his periodic inability to control his mouth. At times he's ridiculously cranky and unpleasant, like when he says nasty things about fans, his radio show, the Internet, or whatever has irritated him. He likes to promote a Huckleberry Hound sort of image, but Ol' Roy has a huge edge, a huge chip on his shoulder, and it comes across loud and clear.
Like all coaches, he has a big ego, but he also tends to say things like "I reminded my players I've won x number of games." Dean Smith always credited the players and rarely mentioned his own accomplishments, not that we were overly fond of him either. What do you expect? It's a - the - rivalry.
You'd have to be foolish, though, to not recognize his talent. He's not the same as Smith in many respects. Dean would never have allowed Late Night With Dean Smith, and Danny Green might have danced, once, and that would have been the end of it.
Despite all this, Williams is a tremendous coach. Like the McCants era, this team wasn't always united, and they fell apart on occasion, at least until this year. They've been tremendous. Remember they won this without Marcus Ginyard, which we really thought was going to be impossible, since no one else really seemed primed to fill his role. They overcame that and a number of injuries and were brilliant in the tournament. You can be Duke fans and still acknowledge how good they are. You'd be stupid not to, really.
From an ACC point of view, it's a really good thing to win the title. The rest of the conference still needs to get their act together - Duke is solid and might have gone farther had they not run into Villanova - but still, the ACC got what the Big East wanted.
For the folks on 15-501, it's the sixth title in the last 18 years, and no two schools in any conference can match that. For the conference, it's the seventh overall in the last 18. And despite everything everybody said, the Big East didn't get anybody there.
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