By now you know all about the greatness of Tyler Hansbrough. He is strong. He is relentless. He can hit the jump hook from the low block and the jump shot from the perimeter. He can rip a rebound away from multiple opponents. He can leap tall buildings in a single bound. But there still are times, believe it or not, when Hansbrough struggles. It has happened in the first half several times this season, most recently when North Carolina played Washington State in the NCAA Sweet 16.
Hansbrough usually comes back with a vengeance
The Greensboro News and Record
Mike Copeland, who spent two seasons playing in high-school gyms in Forsyth County, will step onto one of basketball's biggest stages Saturday when North Carolina meets Kansas in the NCAA Final Four semifinals in San Antonio.
It's Almost Time: Reserve Copeland knows his role is crucial
The Winston-Salem Journal
Quentin Thomas played just one minute in North Carolina's 75-70 victory over Illinois in the Final Four championship game three years ago at St. Louis.
But he still sees the moment vividly.
Q is not for quitting
The Oakland Tribune
Wayne Ellington stood amid the normal chaos that accompanies North Carolina's basketball team after a postseason game.
Back in tourney hotseat: Ellington looks for another shot
The Burlington Times-News
As part of a run-of-the-mill exercise in fifth grade, a teacher asked Patrick Moody to compile a list of goals.
Like a lot of kids in a basketball-mad state, his reply was quick and concise.
He jotted down: "I want to play basketball at the University of North Carolina."
UNC's 'Blue' tradition
The Washington Times
The last time his father saw him play in person, Danny Green was a skinny freshman allotted 15 minutes a game for a rebuilding team. They now may be closer than they have been in years, but Danny Green Sr. will be 1,500 miles away when his oldest son - a junior and an integral part of the top-ranked team in the country - participates in the Final Four this weekend. They will be separated by legalities.
Tar Heels' Green, father separated by parole
New York Newsday
Wayne Ellington and Danny Green can see it coming.
With every pass in North Carolina's halfcourt offense, they know defenders are trying to closely watch them and All-American teammate Tyler Hansbrough in the paint. Sooner or later, the ball will go inside and attract the attention of the defense, leaving them open for a fleeting moment on the perimeter.
As the Tar Heels prepare to face Kansas in the Final Four tomorrow night, they need Ellington and Green to do something with those looks to ease the pressure on Hansbrough.
Perimeter pair key for UNC's attack
The Associated Press
The player with the most victories in North Carolina men's basketball history is not Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Sam Perkins or any of the other greats with jerseys hanging from the rafters of the Dean Smith Center.
A Tar Heel Struggles for Time, Not Wins
The New York Times
Hansbrough never asked for any of the hype. Heck, even the UNC junior is tired of talking about himself.
He prefers to let his game and record-pace numbers handle the self-promotion, but that's not how life as college basketball's most visible star works in 2008, not in the age of 24-hour news cycles and instant Internet access. He's hard to miss.
Some critics fume over Hansbrough
The News and Observer
As much as he loves Carolina Blue, he wears his feelings about the Jayhawks on his sleeve, too. So imagine how difficult it must be for the 57-year-old this week as he prepares for his second Final Four with the Tar Heels and his first game against the school that gave him the biggest shot of his career.
Williams carries deep connections
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
The road to the Final Four this year was a short one and not just for North Carolina.
All of the No. 1 seeds benefited this year from a system created by the NCAA in 2002 that aims to keep the best teams closest to home in the NCAA Tournament.
It's how the NCAA likes it.
Final Four teams benefit from playing close to home
The News and Observer
Other than losing, there's nothing Tyler Hansbrough hates more than being told he can't do something.
So when the North Carolina star hears the inevitable conversations about how he lacks the size and strength to be a productive player in the National Basketball Association, he takes it as a challenge, rather than an insult.
Does Hansbrough have what it takes for the NBA?
The Fayetteville Observer
This being Tobacco Road, it's hard not to compare the current state of affairs at North Carolina to how things stand at Duke.
Advantage UNC? Do Heels have the edge in Duke rivalry
The Durham Herald-Sun
Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt is as qualified as any person in the country to discuss Saturday's Final Four matchup between Kansas and North Carolina.
Hewitt like the Tar Heels to top KU
The Durham Herald-Sun
Harper Williams came from a Carolina family, so it was only natural that he would root for the Tar Heels. His father, mother and two older siblings attended school in Chapel Hill, and the Williamses scheduled their life around basketball games.
Life took an unscheduled turn for Harper, the kid who seemed to care about everyone, when he came home from his first semester at UNC.
Physically, Harper left the world at age 19, early on Dec. 29, 2004, the victim of a drunken driving accident and the invincibility of youth.
Tar Heel tribute for true fan
The Wilmington Star