ABC News On Campus reporter Sam Rosenthal blogs:
The North Carolina Tar Heels played some of their best basketball of the season Friday against Gonzaga, at the most critical juncture of their season to date. UNC might as well have been part of a firearms exhibition – it shot that well in the game. And on defense, the Heels looked as fierce as I’ve seen in some time … dialed in on every possession.
But as the Tar Heels advanced to the Elite Eight, their performance against Gonzaga becomes meaningless unless they can build on it in their new most important game of the season.
In the specter of the Oklahoma Sooners, the Heels face possibly the toughest foe they can meet in the tournament. OU’s Blake Griffin stands almost as tall as the rim and throws his weight around like a bulldozer; Griffin is the consensus No. 1 pick should he leave college for the NBA draft after this season.
The match-up of Griffin against UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough stimulated many a fan’s saliva glands, but whichever team’s supporting cast shows up will likely prevail. In that department, UNC holds an advantage, as the Tar Heels’ starting lineup boasts more weapons than OU’s – IF Ty Lawson plays the way he has so far this tournament despite his bum toe.
If UNC is to advance to the Final Four for the second straight year, it will require as solid an all-around effort as the Heels posted against Gonzaga – which they’re obviously capable of.