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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Tar Heels take NCAA championship

By The Associated Press

DETROIT8212;There was a team of destiny out there, all right. It was the North Carolina Tar Heels, and the final chapter of their story was about as heartwarming as a demolition derby.

Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and North Carolina won a national championship a season or more in the making, stomping out Michigan State’s inspirational run Monday night with an 89-72 blowout that wasn’t even that close.

Hansbrough scored 18 points, Wayne Ellington had 19 and Lawson led all scorers with 21 and also had a record eight steals8212;and now they and Danny Green can all head to the NBA feeling good about their decision to return to school to bring home Carolina’s fifth championship, and the second for coach Roy Williams.

All those upperclassmen, save Hansbrough, came back in part because their draft prospects didn’t look so good. They also didn’t want their college careers to end on last year’s embarrassing loss to Kansas in the Final Four. That was a dud of a game in which they trailed 40-12 in the first half and Billy Packer was telling CBS viewers it was over.

This time, North Carolina led 36-13 around the time “Dancing With The Stars” was starting on another network. At least nobody knew how that one was going to end.

“We’ve been working so hard since last year when we fell short,” said Ellington, named most outstanding player. “I wanted to redeem myself. We worked so hard.”

Michigan State (31-7) simply never got any momentum. From the start, it was clear there was no way Carolina was losing control of this one, no chance for the Spartans to serve up that definitive ray of sunshine and warm-and-fuzzy smile for a state that’s been battered by the ailing economy.

“The best team won,” said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. “That’s an easy statement to make.”

The Tar Heels (34-4) were up 55-34 at halftime, breaking a 42-year-old title-game record for biggest lead at the break and setting the mark for most points at the half.

“We handled injuries, handled some losses” this season, Williams said. “The youngsters standing behind me are great, great young men. I’m the luckiest coach in America, I can tell you that.”

This collection of NBA talent was too, too much from wire to wire, from the start of the tournament, to the very end.

Carolina won every game by double digits, something that hasn’t happened since Duke did it in 2001.

Lots of basketball fans saw this coming, including America’s No. 1 Hoopster-in-Chief.

Yes, President Barack Obama picked the Tar Heels to take it all in his much-publicized bracket.

Magic Johnson, Michigan State’s Spartan-in-Chief, joined Larry Bird at center court to present the game ball, a tribute to the 30-year anniversary of their historic matchup and Michigan State’s first title.

Associated Press

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams celebrates with his team after their 89-72 victory over Michigan State in the NCAA men?s basketball championship game late monday in Detroit.

Associated Pres

Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas drives to the basket under pressure from North Carolina players Deon Thompson, Ed Davis and Ty Lawson.

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