M. Basketball: Detroit rallies behind MSU

DETROIT — The Michigan State Spartans have made an improbable run to Monday's national championship game but at this point even they know they're part of something a little bigger than basketball. Like it or not one of the unique things about sports is that they can sometimes become attached to much larger societal issues.

Men's basketball

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Guard play de_¶ nes late matchup

Though the Villanova Wildcats have a reputation as a guard-heavy team their leading scorer has taken no 3-pointers this tournament and a grand total of two for the season. The focus for this team might start on the perimeter but 16.2 points a game from 6-foot-8 senior forward Dante Cunningham certainly can't be ignored by North Carolina when Saturday's Final Four matchup rolls around.

Former UNC guard Jackie Manuel started in the 2005 Sweet 16 matchup with Villanova" a win he named as one of the top three or four of his career.

M. Basketball: Heels face tough 'Nova rematch

Jackie Manuel remembers almost everything from North Carolina's one-point victory against Villanova in the Sweet 16 in 2005. The former UNC guard remembers the intensity between the two teams that duked it out in Syracuse N.Y.

Roy Williams hasn?t needed to take off his jacket or sub out five players at once this season" but he?s still keeping the Tar Heels motivated.

Williams motivates quietly

""If you want your careers to end tonight" like this" keep playing this way."" So said North Carolina coach Roy Williams during a tense timeout in the second half of Tar Heels' second-round matchup with LSU in Greensboro. That night" the team took his message to heart spurred by Ty Lawson in obliterating the Tigers' five-point lead and continuing to a romp of the team" 84-70.

Ellington picked UNC over 'Nova

When Wayne Ellington's mother Elaine first met Villanova coach Jay Wright Ellington was just a high school freshman living outside of Philadelphia. The conversation between the elder Ellington and Wright had little to do with hoops.

New Big East more than physicality

It's known in some circles as the league where only men survive. A place where boys just can't cut it — the physical play is just too rough too barbaric for any unaccustomed squad to succeed against those teams from the northeast.

Tar Heels roll into Sweet 16

MARCH 21 GREENSBORO — Less than 10 minutes had passed in North Carolina's second-round game against eighth-seeded LSU and coach Roy Williams already was concerned.

Tyler Hansbrough was called for two early fouls against Oklahoma" but he never picked up his third and finished with 26 minutes in the game.

Heels tough out win against OU

MARCH 29 MEMPHIS Tenn. — It wasn't the picturesque offensive performance that defines many North Carolina games. Not even close actually. But at this point in March aesthetic value means little. All that mattered to the Tar Heels on Sunday was the scoreboard and the gritty 72-60 win against Oklahoma gives them their much-desired Final Four date with Villanova on Saturday in Detroit.

UNC senior Marcus Ginyard is looking for new ways to lead the Tar Heels off the court after his foot injury ruled him out for the season.

Ginyard leads from bench

When the Tar Heels take the court at Ford Field on Saturday there won't be a whole lot Marcus Ginyard can do to help their cause. But that doesn't mean he won't do everything in his power to get his team ready before tipoff.

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Superior guard play paves way to victory

If there's one thing that stands out about this year's Final Four it is sheer size. With the court set in the center of monstrous Ford Field Detroit could be the biggest Final Four ever in terms of attendance.

M. Basketball: Tar Heels return to Detroit's Ford Field

When Roy Williams and the No. 1 North Carolina men's basketball team travels to Detroit for the Final Four they won't be going to a basketball arena. Instead they'll be at Ford Field normally the home of the NFL's Detroit Lions.