Before the NCAA Tournament began, I picked Pittsburgh, Oklahoma, Washington and Louisville to make it to the Final Four and figured the Panthers would win it all.
I know. None of them even made it to Detroit. Don’t remind me.
Anyway, my Final Four prediction had a couple of disclaimers. Here’s one of them:
“As much as I think North Carolina has the most talent of any team in the country, just unsure about Ty Lawson’s injury. If he was healthy, I’d have the Tar Heels winning it all.”
Well, after missing North Carolina’s first tournament game, Lawson played through the toe injury, got healthy and led the Tar Heels to their fifth national title.
Sorry Tyler Hansbrough, but without Lawson, he would have ended his career as the ACC’s all-time leading scorer and no national championship rings to show for it.
In Monday’s title game, Lawson scored a game-high 21 points, had an NCAA title-game record eight steals and also had six assists and four rebounds.
In five tournament games, the 5-foot 11-inch, 195-pound point guard, who also looks like he could play tailback, had 34 assists to only seven turnovers. Four of those turnovers came against Villanova in the national semifinals.
So although I didn’t pick North Carolina to win it all, Lawson at least helped validate how valuable I thought he was to the Tar Heels’ championship hopes.