Jeff Goodman? Ty Lawson will accept your apology now.
It was a gutty effort from a player much maligned for his toughness. I imagine that will never happen again. Ty Lawson came out in the 2nd half after exhibiting some rust and dealing with pain, to score 21 of his 23 points carrying the Heels at a point when LSU was making a run. Lawson hit two threes and tried his best to pump up his teammates amid a streak of points from the Tigers. Like the 2nd half against Duke in Durham and Miami at Coral Gables, Lawson's 2nd half made a huge difference.
However, enough cannot be said about Wayne Ellington. One of the questions we had going into the NCAA Tournament is whether Ellington could hit shots in such a way as to turn the game. That is what they did and then some. Not only was Ellington hitting threes but he did a great job creating his own shots when necessary. Ellingtons sensational scoring came against LSU's Garrett Temple who's claim to fame is shutting down J.J. Redick in 2006. In the end Ellington's most important play was not a made shot but a rebound he tipped to Danny Green who then made a three to give UNC a seven point lead. So far Ellington is averaging 24.0 ppg in two NCAA Tournament games. In concert with that, he is also making plays with Green struggling with his shots and Tyler Hansbrough not a viable option at times due to the LSU interior defense.
Overall UNC played great defense when they needed it. LSU got some great shooting during a 2nd half stretch that put them back into the game and in the lead by five. During that time, the Heels contested shots but it did not matter. They also gave up open looks with some weak double teams. Eventually LSU went cold and UNC asserted control again. Overall the defense was spotty at times but good enough when it needed to be. That is all we can ask and probably the best we can hope for. Also, Ed Davis was great. His offensive game has come along and he got after it on the boards as well as blocked/changed shots on a regular basis.
This was a tough tournament win. LSU is a good team, despite the seeding and the Heels did what was necessary to survive and advance. Onto Memphis and a revenge game versus Gonzaga.