As the ACC season has heated up, point guard Ty Lawson has taken control at North Carolina. UNC has a 10-game winning streak in conference play and has solidified its once-shaky status as a team capable of winning the NCAA Tournament. All five starters have contributed to the recovery, but Lawson has led the effort. It all started the night he hit a 3-pointer on the run at the buzzer for a win at Florida State. Since then, he has carried UNC to wins at Duke and Miami, and he was instrumental in a win against N.C. State on Wednesday.
Ty Game: Lawson has been spark for Tar Heels
The Winston Salem Journal
In his college debut, North Carolina's Tyler Zeller received a starting assignment and was charged with the daunting task of filling in for the injured reigning National Player of the Year.
And yet Zeller said his most anxious moments of this season came earlier this week, while peering up at the Smith Center scoreboards and trying to calculate when his return from a broken left wrist officially would commence.
Tar Heels freshman wants title chase, not extra year
The Burlington Times-News
Third-ranked North Carolina already boasted one of the fastest point guards in the country (Ty Lawson), the most determined big man (Tyler Hansbrough), and perhaps the most improved player (Danny Green).
Wednesday, it re-introduced a component that might push the Tar Heels over the top: a 7-footer off the bench.
Zeller should add spark off the bench
The News and Observer
The list of recruits Maryland has missed on since winning the national championship in 2002 is long enough and the Terrapins' regression is severe enough that Gary Williams' job was thought to be in some danger earlier this month.
Lawson wonders about the Terps
The Durham Herald-Sun
North Carolina sits comfortably in the driver's seat for the men's ACC basketball regular-season championship.
That doesn't mean the ACC race lacks for high drama.
With less than three weeks left in the regular season, the Tar Heels have a virtual hammerlock on first place at 10-2. Carolina is 21/2 games up on the second-place pack, and that's a nice cushion. Look for UNC to own that No. 1 seed come ACC Tournament time.
UNC controls destiny
The High Point Enterprise
Maryland's poor showing at Clemson Tuesday night didn't change all that much in terms of the Terrapins' season. The 93-64 rout by the 13th-ranked Tigers dropped the Terps to 16-9 overall, 5-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
But it doesn't alter the team's objective for the rest of the regular season: Gaining another victory over a marquee team and getting to at least 8-8 in league play, which would likely put them in position for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid. If the Terps can accomplish both of those things, they still might need to win a game or two in the ACC Tournament to ensure a bid. But a win over a nationally ranked team would certainly beef up their resume.
Terps look to bag a big one
The Annapolis Capital
The outside movement was impressive, almost as if the orange orb rotated clockwise on its own, rather than with help. And sure enough, there was an open shot at the end of the line, and reliably it fell through.
It was one of any number of plays in the second half of Maryland's 93-64 loss at Clemson on Tuesday. But the scene also played itself at out at Miami. And Duke. And North Carolina, which visits Comcast Center on Saturday.
Terps' defense seeks relief
The Washington Times
Now, on the heels of that 29-point loss, the Terrapins must face three top 10 teams in the next 11 days, beginning today at Comcast Center against No. 3 North Carolina (24-2, 10-2). Teamwide confidence has surged and receded regularly for Maryland during ACC play, so a renewed devotion to efficiency on both ends of the court would come as little surprise against the Tar Heels.
Consistent Inconsistency Confounds Terps
The Washington Post