Tar Heels' unquestioned shining moment comes courtesy of Lawson
Ty Lawson was the most dominant player on the floor in UNC's final two games
Michigan State simply ran into a great Heels team playing at a high level
The Tar Heels couldn't have scripted a better start to the championship game
SI.com caught up with Seth Davis, who's serving as a CBS studio analyst during the tournament, to get his impressions of Monday's championship game.
SI.com: Wayne Ellington was the Most Outstanding Player, but who was your MVP tonight?
Seth Davis: Without question, Ty Lawson. That was an air ball on the part of my friends on press row. Ellington wasn't the leading scorer and the Most Outstanding Player in the whole Final Four; Lawson was the most dominant player on the floor in both games. Tonight, Lawson had eight steals, a Final Four record, controlled the lane and from the foul line he was ridiculous, going 15-of-18. He's a great player and a great example of a kid who benefited from having another year in school. He was the last one to come back. He could have gone to the NBA and come off someone's bench and just tried to play as fast as he can. Instead, he came back and learned how to play at different paces, his outside shooting improved and, overall, he just got better in all phases of the game. He's a good example of a kid who made a good decision in coming back a year, and he'll make a whole lot of money off of it.
SI.com: What happened to the Spartans?
SD: Destiny ran into a buzz saw. The worst-case scenario for Michigan State was for UNC to get off to that kind of start, because Michigan State isn't that kind of a team, and then the Spartans got away from what they do well. They had so many turnovers, which was their Achilles heel all year. They had done such a good job during the tournament of avoiding them, but tonight there were a lot of unforced, bad turnovers. The Spartans were tight and nervous and that's all Carolina needs.
SI.com: What was the most important play?
SD: The opening tip? I guess Goran Suton hit a three to put them up 3 -2 and then there was that early sequence there when North Carolina had scored and Suton tried to throw the ball to Kalin Lucas and Lucas had three guys around him and Suton threw it to an open space on the floor. It was a quick, easy turnover and exemplified where Michigan State was tonight.
SI.com: What did you see on the court that we couldn't see from home?
SD: Greg Anthony eating popcorn. It's just a shame that it wasn't a game. It was a great atmosphere at the beginning and it never had a chance to get going. North Carolina's a deserving champion, but I would have liked to have heard 50,000 Spartans fans as loud as they can possibly get, at least for a little while.
SI.com: We pretty much know what's next for the Tar Heels. But what's next for Michigan State?
SD: They're bringing everyone back except for Travis Walton and Suton. They had a good season and I'm sure they will, in very short time, look back and think, That was very impressive. They gave Detroit a reason to cheer and they represented their school well. But they ran into a great team playing at its very best. College basketball has its true champion.
Click here to order a copy of Seth Davis' new book, When March Went Mad: Magic, Bird and the Game That Transformed Basketball.
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