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Off the cuff: Carolina has now made the Sweet 16 for a record 23rd time. With the win against LSU, the Tar Heels also got the school's 98th NCAA victory, tying Kentucky for the all-time lead.

The Huh? quote of the day came from LSU coach Trent Johnson, who said in a pre-game radio interview, "Adversity doesn't show character, it reveals it." Huh? I think "reveal" still means "to show." I think he botched the well-known quote, "adversity doesn't build character it reveals it."

Legendary UNC radio announcer Woody Durham made a little editorial comment about Carolina's Deon Thompson after Thompson seemingly couldn't decide what to do with the ball and had it stripped. The Wood Man yelled, "come on Deon." While Woody certainly calls the games through Carolina blue eyes, you don't normally hear him demonstratively get on a UNC player. By the way, Woody was right, Thompson should have made a decision earlier. It was at a key time of the game with the Heels up just 67-63.

The LSU game was intense as the Tigers went on a mind-numbing run to start the second half. In fact, the Tigers failed to score on only one possession in the first seven minutes of the second half. During one stretch LSU hit four threes in a row.

Bobby Frasor did not even take a shot but he had three nice steals. Carolina had 11 steals on the day compared to five by LSU and outscored the Tigers 20-9 after turnovers.

Carolina shot well, hitting 54 percent of its shots and six of 13 from behind the arc. If UNC wins the tournament, it will be in large part because Ellington has taken over offensively - and because Lawson appears to be back.

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NCAA Tourney: Heels 84, Tigers 70
Lawson leads UNC to intense victory

Ty Lawson, back from an injured toe, didn't particularly feel good in the first half and spent time on the bench with his shoe off. In the second half, LSU didn't particularly feel good after Lawson exploded for 21 points to lead North Carolina to an 84-70 win in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Greensboro. (3/21)

Lawson was one of five in the first half and was in and out of the game often. In the second half, a pair of three pointers by Lawson kept Carolina in the game as LSU made a mad rush to take a lead after being down by 10 in the first half and nine at the half.

The Tigers drained some threes of their own to take a 54-49 lead with 12 minutes to go. Wayne Ellington almost single-handedly got the lead back for the Tar Heels with a nifty assist, a steal and layup and a three-point shot - all in a minute's time to give Carolina a 56-54 lead.

With the score tied at 63-all with just over eight minutes to play, the Tar Heels turned on the afterburners with Lawson at the helm. In less than six minutes, Carolina outscored LSU 17-2. An old-fashioned three-point play by Lawson on a fastbreak started the onslaught.

In what UNC coach Roy Williams called his favorite play of the game, Danny Green missed a shot but Ellington dashed to the ball and batted it back to an open Green who drilled the three that time to make it 70-63. Lawson extended the lead to 72-63 as he put the mojo on a defender and drove the baseline for a bucket.

A Lawson to Ed Davis dunk with 2:14 to play capped the 17-2 run to make it 80-65. A minute later LSU threw in the towel and emptied its bench.

It looked as if the game might have been over late in the first half as Carolina got its lead up to 10 at 36-26 when Tyler Hansbrough knocked the ball away from an LSU player into the arms of Green who drove down, scored and was fouled.

But LSU came out smokin' in the second half, scoring the first eight points and outscoring the Heels 15-3 run in the first three plus minutes to take a 44-41 lead.

A Lawson three tied it and the game was back and forth until that game-clinching 17-2 UNC run.

Coach Williams said it was a gutty performance by the whole UNC team but especially by Lawson.

Lawson and Ellington led the Tar Heels, now 30-4, with 23 points each. Lawson also dished out six assists, came up with two steals and did not turn the ball over. Hansbrough was the only other Tar Heel in double figures with 15.

Marcus Thornton scored 25 points to lead the eighth-seeded Tigers, who end their season at 27-8. Carolina continues its season the Sweet 16 with a game against the winner of Gonzaga-Western Kentucky.


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