What: NCAA East Regional 1st Round
Where: RBC Center, Raleigh, NC
When: Friday, March 21st, 7:10 PM
Records: UNC 32-2; MSM 19-14
NCAA Results: UNC-First game; MSM-def. #16 Coppin State.
The quest for a title begins here.
Mount St. Mary's is not a good team despite winning the Opening Round game versus Coppin State which is evidenced by the #16 seed and the fact they were included in the Tuesday game to begin with. So, I do not expect trouble with this team outside the usual inspired play you might see during the first part of the opening half.
Two UNC players to watch are Ty Lawson who is really dealing with a confidence issue and a mental block of sorts as it pertains to his ankle. I surmise that the ankle, while still sore, is not his main impediment to Lawson returning to full speed. I am convinced it is more about his unwillingness to be aggressive. This game is a perfect test since this is live action. Lawson will get ample opportunity to test the ankle and make plays which should bolster his confidence going forward.
Deon Thompson is the other player who is working through some struggles and even met privately with Roy this week to address some of the problems he is having on offense. Thompson was basically told to show up on the defensive end because if his offense is not there and the defense is suspect he really has no purpose on the court. Frankly I would love to see him do well on both ends of the floor. As was the case with Lawson, this weaker opponent will afford him the chance to prove his worth again.
In short I would not be surprised by a slow UNC start but by halftime this game should be mostly over.
UNC 99 MSM 58