the north carolina tar heels gave head coach roy williams his second ncaa title by soundly defeating the spartans of michigan state 89-72. senior forward wayne ellington scored 19 points & was named the final four's most oustanding player. first team all-american junior guard ty lawson set an ncaa title record with eight steals, adding 21 points & six assists to his brilliant game. senior center tyler hansborough, another first team all-american, had 19 points & 11 rebounds to lead a balanced offensive attack against a team no one expected to be in the championship game.
the title game took place in detroit, 30 years after hall of fame guard magic johnson led michigan state to a 79-64 win over hall of famer larry bird's indiana state sycamores. johnson gave the team a pep talk before the game & was seen on tv several times in the stands trying to cheer on his alma mater. but from the opening tip off north carolina had too much efficiency, energy & experience, racing to a 21-7 lead. in fact, their 55 first half points set an ncaa record for most points in the first half. also their 21 point half time margin set a record for largest lead in a title game.
there were moments in the second half when michigan state, sparked by the shooting of forward goran suton, showed signs of a comeback. however, they never got closer than 13 points as the tar heels' depth, maturity & poise were unmatched. in a game billed as david versus goliath most experts expected north carolina to win. michigan state defeated two number one seeds, louisville & connecticut, to reach the finals, yet when all was said & done, another historic victory was had by north carolina.
39-0. perfection. the women's team at uconn went undefeated this year, topped off by a dominant 74-57 win against the university of louisville - like michigan state, another unexpected title contender. uconn senior forward tina charles was named the final four's most outstanding player, as her 23 points & 19 rebounds led the huskies to their sixth title in team history. coach gene auremima was emotional afterwards, happy to share their success with senior guard & first team all-american renee montgomery, who scored 19 points.
uconn sophomore forward & first team all-american maya moore scored 24 points & played solid defense against louisville's first team all-american forward angel mccoughtry. early in the first half montgomery set the tempo by running & gunning at will. with both her parents proudly watching from the stands the spunky spark plug put on a show, her killer crossover a pain in the ass for the cinderella team in black & red. comparisons with other championship teams are inevitable, yet this group of women showed determination, focus & heart all year round. blowouts are usually boring but you couldn't help feel the joy watching them play.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.