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Off the cuff: Not to overplay the Carolina team vs. Blake Griffin angle but the first few minutes set the tone for the game.

Six different Tar Heels scored Carolina's first six field goals. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels got up 21-10 with Griffin failing to score.

If the Tar Heels weren't denying Blake the ball, they were doubling him and either making the shots tough for him or forcing him to give it to a teammate.

Those Sooner teammates missed all nine first-half three pointers. The 23 first-half points were a season-low for Oklahoma.

After Hansbrough picked up a foul 50 seconds into the game and another six minutes later, it looked as if it could be a long game for the Heels.

Despite Hansbrough playing just nine minutes in the first half, the Tar Heels led by nine at the break. Even though he played 17 minutes in the second half, the 2008 player of the year was pretty much a non factor in the outcome.

Coach Roy Williams says Hansbrough just wants to win. "That young man has been an incredible, incredible human being and an incredible player," he said. "If we win and he scores eight, he's going to be the happiest person in the gym. That's the way he is. He's interested in his team winning. He wants to do everything he can to help his team win."

Now it's down to two more chances to win.

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NCAA Tourney: Heels 72, Sooners 60
UNC's team effort beats Blake

With Blake Griffin outscoring the foul-plagued Tyler Hansbrough 23 to 8, you'd think Oklahoma would have beaten North Carolina. Instead, the team-oriented Tar Heels handled the one-man-band Sooners 72-60 to advance to the Final Four. (3/29)

In the first half, UNC's Danny Green scored 14 points to pick up the slack for Hansbrough after he got a pair of early fouls. In the second half, UNC's Ty Lawson, seemingly healed from an injured toe, scored 15.

Lawson finished with 19 points while Green had 18 and Deon Thompson added 10.

Lawson said the Tar Heels have a lot of weapons. "I think that makes our team so dangerous because, if one person's not having a good night, other people will pick it
up," he said.

Green was the first Tar Heel that picked it up as he drained a couple of threes and aggressively attacked the basket on another occasion, grabbing the ball away from Blake's brother Taylor and putting it in.

Green's second three with 6:18 left gave Carolina its biggest lead of the first half at 28-16.

Blake Griffin, who was bottled up early by the Tar Heels' double teaming whenever he got the ball, scored 11 of Oklahoma's last 13 points of the first half to cut the margin to nine at 32-23.

It never got closer as Lawson controlled the second half. Back-to-back threes by Lawson put the Tar Heels in command at 53-38.

A Thompson bucket at the 7:26 mark capped an 8-0 UNC run to give Carolina its largest lead of the game at 61-40, at which time the Tar Heels seemed to take their foot off the accelerator.

As a result, the Sooners reeled off nine straight points in 1:40 to make it 61-49. But UNC hit nine of 10 free throws down the stretch to keep Oklahoma at bay.

"This team has dealt with a great deal of adversity - a great deal of expectation from other people," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "And they've got us going to Detroit, and
we're excited about that."

North Carolina (32-4) advances to the Final Four for the second straight year and plays Villanova in the national semifinals. Meanwhile, Oklahoma, which went just two of 19 from three-point land, finishes the season at 30-6.


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