The North Carolina/Washington game was an exciting game to watch from start to finish.  I didn’t get a chance to watch either team very much during the regular season or during conference tournaments.  However, I took a few notes that I think were key to success and failure. I’ll also get to the controversial call at the end of the game.

Harrison's 22 point performance helped the Tarheels escape a close game to advance to the Sweet 16

1st, I’m not very impressed with UNC.  I am impressed with Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller, and Kendall Marshall.  Barnes can score and create his own shots like nobody else I’ve seen this year, maybe I shouldn’t forget about Kemba and Jimmer? Barnes literally took control of the game for about 3 minutes and led UNC on a couple runs that gave them the lead.  Personally I think the kid is living up to all the hype.  Tyler Zeller is a tough player that can finish at the rim.  I was very impressed with Zeller.  I was also amazed by Kendall Marshall.  14 assists in a tournament game is big time!

However, I’m not sure UNC has the team discipline needed to win a national championship.  Too many times I watched UNC break down defensively and give up easy shots.  There wasn’t a sense of urgency or hustle on the defensive end of the floor.  If I was a Tarheel fan I would be a little concerned.  Also, Roy Williams’ teams like to run and get a lot of transition and fast break points.  They’re usually pretty solid at getting back on defense in the transition game.  I know that Washington likes to push the tempo too but I saw Washington beat UNC down the floor and get some good looks.  Again this addresses UNC’s hustle issue.

I had Washington taking this game and advancing to the Sweet 16, I was wrong.  I don’t think Washington deserved to win any more than I think UNC deserved to win.  Both teams played outstanding.  However, Washington made a few too many mistakes during a crucial time period towards the end of the game.  The Huskies turned the ball over a couple of times at very inopportune times and also took some bad shots that ended with empty possessions.  I can’t stress enough how debilitating empty possessions are in the last 5 minutes of the game.

Isaiah Thomas's 12 points wasn't enough to propell the hopeful Huskies to the Sweet 16

Even though Washington loss I was fairly impressed with them.  As I mentioned above Roy Williams likes to have his guys out on that floor running it to death.  The Huskies ability to beat them at their own game was eye opening and a lot of fun to watch.  Isaiah Thomas’s performance was anything but electrifying like it has been in the past.  Much of the Huskies success came from his solid play and ability to score.  I think the Huskies were looking for and needed more out of him today scoring wise.  He finished the game with 12 points.  Something to note is Terrence Ross’s game high 19 points for Washington. He gave the Huskies a huge lift off the Washington bench.

I don’t think UNC will make it much further in the tournament.  I predict Syracuse being able to take care of business by playing disciplined basketball and controlling the tempo.

As for the ending of the game I have a problem with the referees not attempting to make sure they had the right amount of time left on the clock.  I know the rules state that the clock is supposed to be stopped on the referees whistle but, I know for a fact that I’ve seen referee crews go to the monitors and put time back on the clock when the ball hit out of bounds.  The rules are the rules but I really wish they would have taken another look at the monitors.

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