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NCAA 1st Round: #1 UNC vs #16 Radford

Where: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
When: Thursday, March 19th, approx. 2:50 PM
Livestats: SCACC Hoops
Liveblogging: No
Records: UNC 28-4; Radford 21-11

Thus begins the road to the Final Four

All the focus has been on Ty Lawson's toe.  In respect to that we all take comfort in knowing a #1 has never lost to a #16 seed.  Still, if Lawson does not play and most expect he will not, it is still very important the rest of the team gets off to an excellent start.  During the ACC Tournament we got a heavy dose of great play by Tyler Hansbrough and Wayne Ellington.  We also got some consistency from Deon Thompson and a more assertive Ed Davis, especially on offense.  Bobby Frasor and Larry Drew were serviceable at the point but the big missing piece was the play of Danny Green.  For whatever reason Green has been woefully off for around four games.  As Roy Williams likes to say, you must rebuild momentum in the NCAA Tournament which basically says Green starts with a clean slate.  With Lawson's health in question, getting everyone else firing on all cylinders is a must.

When you consider that UNC lost to current #5 seed FSU by three without Lawson and a poor shooting Green, that seems to indicate if everyone is at the top of their game UNC can handle at least two rounds with a limited Lawson.  It also means they should easily handle Radford.  The Highlanders are coached by VT coach Seth Greenberg's brother Brad Greenberg. Radford has enjoyed a nice turnaround in the past few years and is led by 6-11 center Artsiom Parakhouski who averages a double-double.  Radford is a decent shooting three point team at 35%.  It is just a guess on my part but I am thinking the Heels will get a pretty solid shot from the Highlanders.  Either that or the bright lights of the Big Dance will do Radford in.  Whatever the case, UNC needs to take care of their business with or without Lawson.

UNC 92 Radford 68