Saturday, January 27, 2007

North Carolina vs. Arizona Post-game Analysis

North Carolina dominated from the beginning of the game. I made a mistake in picking Arizona, but I think it's mainly because of how much hatred I have for UNC. Like I said before, the team that can make stops and force turnovers on defense would be the one that came out on top. The young guns for UNC took charge right away and proved themselves even more. These freshmen are not playing like typical freshmen.

North Carolina broke it open just about right away. Lawson scored the first 8 points and looked very smooth in transition. Hansbrough wasn't much of a factor as I thought he would of been. Especially with Brandan Wright's game-time decision to sit out due to illness.

UNC's only weakness is their perimeter defense. They gave up quite a bit of wide open, outside shots. Luckily for the Tar-Heels, few went in. Arizona struggled on the outside and continued to throw up shots as the game went on. I also thought UNC did a great job of containing Mustafa Shakur in the transition game. That's where he is best. They made him force things that wasn't there and made him look a little uncomfortable in his game.

It also didn't help that Marcus Williams injured his ankle in the 1st half and Chase Budinger sat out nearly the whole 1st half with 2 quick fouls. This forced Lute Olson to go deep into his bench, which is something he doesn't normally like to do.

I can only imagine how much worse it could of been if Wright had played. This North Carolina team I believe now, is the second best team in the country only behind Florida. These freshmen know their roles and fit in well. Roy Williams really knows how to utilize them with his offense. Lawson is not only the best PG in the ACC, but is starting to show he is one of the best in the country.

As for Arizona, overall, they took a step backwards after this game. Last week they almost came out and topped #2 UCLA. And today they struggled against a superior UNC team. I truly do believe this Wildcats team has the potential to be a Final Four threat. They have the experience, coaching, and the personal to do so. They just need to find another way to win when they have an off-shooting night and Lute Olson will make sure these things happen by NCAA Tournament time.

Leaders: UNC Arizona
Points: Lawson 18 Budinger 16
Rebounds: 4 tied with 6 Hill 10
Assists: Lawson 8 Shakur 4

1 comment:

Bryan said...

The only games that have Final Four implications are played in Elite Eight. Once you hit the field of 65, everything else is thrown out the window.