The Morning After Pill Hard To Swallow For The Spartans
Hansbrough scored 18 points, Ellington had 19 and Lawson led all scorers with 21 and also had a record eight steals. Their decision to return to school in pursuit of a national championship paid off last night, as they rebounded, executed shots and maintained their cool from start to finish. These three players along with Danny Green can all make an exit from the NC program and enter center stage for the NBA draft this year feeling good about their decision to return to school.
The Spartans who finished the season 31-7 are to be commended for the efforts coming into the finals, but was clearly no match for the Tarheels who had size, poise and power. Coach Tom Izzo is no doubt a Hall of Famer in his own right , but the night belonged to the very modest Coach Roy Williams. Williams gave credit to the players saying that this was his biggest win yet.
The night was historic on other fronts as 30 years after Magic Johnson and Larry Bird made history in their men’s final carving the name “March Madness”, Michael Jordan was inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame. MJ was however reluctant to accept , as he said jokingly that he now knows that his career was over. Magic Johnson, Michigan State’s Spartan-in-Chief, joined Larry Bird at center court to present the game ball, a tribute to the 30-year anniversary of their historic matchup and Michigan State’s first title.
Goran Sutton who led the Spartans with 17 points and Kalin Lucas (Big Ten Player of the Year) had 14 points and should be commended for their relentless efforts but needed help from their other teammates when the game got out of hand. The Spartans were having trouble simply getting the ball in after Tarheel buckets, turning it over that way twice in the first 6 minutes, part of a depressing day that didn’t do justice to the effort they put in to get here. During pregame introductions, Williams walked over to shake hands with Izzo, who was distracted, drawing up a play on the grease board in the huddle. He jokingly showed the diagram to Williams – and you know what: It probably wouldn’t have mattered.
North Carolina’s head coach Roy Williams joined Jim Calhoun, Billy Donovan and Mike Krzyzewski as the fourth active coach (13th overall) to win multiple titles.