1. North Carolina vs 4. Washington State 7:10 PM
Washington State Scouting Report:
Remember the days with no shot clock? The Cougars would love to go back to those days. Washington State is as happy as pig in s&*t just walking the ball up, setting some screens and getting a good look for Derrick Low or Kyle Weaver. This team finished 3rd in the Pac 10 and only allowed 75+ points 3 times this year.
North Carolina Scouting Report:
Roy Williams wants his crew to run. And when they have the game at a break neck pace he wants them to run even more. Tyler Hansbrough is the engine that makes Carolina go. The junior is all over the court grabbing boards, loose balls, and fouls on the defense. PG Ty Lawson looks to be at full strength as well, which will aide UNC's up tempo style. If the Heels have a weakness it is that they can have lapses on defense.
For Washington State to win:
They absolutely must slow the pace to a crawl. If they can shoot a high percentage then that will limit UNC's fast break opportunities going the other way. Low and Weaver need to have big games from the 3point line.
For North Carolina to win:
Push the tempo and make WSU play out of their style. Hansbrough is going to get his so other players need to step up like Wayne Ellington, Lawson, and Danny Greene.
Prediction: Washington State got swept by the two teams finishing higher than them in the Pac-10 (they lost to Stanford 3 times). Their best wins are USC, Baylor, and Gonzaga. North Carolina has more talent, is playing fantastic, and will have nearly a home court in Charlotte. Throw in that Wash State has to fly cross country and I like the Tar Heels to win by double digits.
Pick: North Carolina
Tournament: 12-3 (75%)
Season: 92-34 (73%)
ACC: 50-17 (75%