Thursday's UNC Links

Today's Carolina links from around the ‘net.......

Carolina Basketball

Mike Copeland is a career reserve at North Carolina, but he's one of the most fortunate players in all of college basketball this season. On Saturday Copeland, a Reynolds High School graduate, will participate in his second Final Four when North Carolina will play Villanova in the second game of the day's national semifinals.
Twice as Nice: Copeland, former Reynolds star, will be making his second trip to Final Four
The Winston-Salem Journal

Senior Marcus Ginyard sat amid the celebration in the North Carolina locker room on Sunday, a smile pasted on his face as he posed with his team's NCAA Tournament South Regional trophy. It was a bittersweet moment for the defensive-minded wing player. Even though he was happy his teammates had advanced to their second straight Final Four, Ginyard could only cheer from the sidelines, knowing that most of the players surrounding him in that locker room likely won't be there with him when he returns for a fifth season.
Ginyard sits, watches, contributes
The News and Observer

So you want to beat North Carolina, eh? Only four teams this year have struck the Tar Heels' Achilles' heel, and they've all followed the same Carolina Blueprint to victory. It's a safe bet Villanova (30-7) will know the plan well after a week's worth of preparation heading into the NCAA semifinals against North Carolina (32-4) at Detroit's Ford Field this Saturday night.
Improved defense key to Tar Heels' tournament run
The Greensboro News-Record

Brother Rice High School basketball coach Pat Richardson has always told Bobby Frasor he questions his decision-making ability. It's not because he tries to throw full-court passes or attempts to dribble through triple-teams: Richardson actually loves Frasor's game. No, Richardson has always doubted Bobby Frasor's competence because of his loyalty to the Chicago White Sox instead of the Chicago Cubs.
Bobby Frasor: A Tale of Determination
ESPN the magazine

Ed Davis and Bobby Frasor went back and forth at a team breakfast during North Carolina's East Regional in Memphis, arguing about what they'd do if they were in Jason Capel's shoes and their alma mater faced a school coached by a family member.
Davis wins playing time with Heels, if not arguments
The Durham Herald-Sun

North Carolina senior Tyler Hansbrough admits he felt a bit of relief Sunday evening when the Tar Heels finally captured the South Regional championship and booked a return trip to the Final Four.
Less demand for Hansbrough at this Final Four
The Durham Herald-Sun

The script has played out the same in all four North Carolina losses this season, and it's what makes Saturday's national semifinal against Villanova so unsettling for Tar Heels fans. Villanova (30-7) has ultra-quick guards in Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher who excel at getting into the lane for easy baskets off the dribble. Their strengths mirror those of the four guards who shredded the Tar Heels (32-4) and led their teams to victory.
Heels have to be on guard
The News and Observer

North Carolina is still not a great defensive team, but it's a lot better now than after losing its top defender, Marcus Ginyard, to a foot injury. North Carolina was 71st nationally in opponents' shooting percentage during the regular season (41.3). Now, opponents are shooting 39.3 percent because the Tar Heels are swarming on defense and getting back and shutting down fast-break opportunities. They did a solid job on Oklahoma's Blake Griffin , although he finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds. They rotated Tyler Hansbrough (6-foot-9), Ed Davis (6-10) and Tyler Zeller (6-9) to Griffin, and used Danny Green as a spy inside in case Griffin got loose.
North Carolina defense is beginning to assert itself
The Detroit News

Sporting stylish eyewear and lounging on a doctor's exam table, North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson embodied fashion and relaxation the day before the Tar Heels' second-round NCAA tournament game. As Lawson held court with reporters, his teammates couldn't hide their amusement. Lawson's vision? Crystal clear. His injured big toe? Likely healed. The glasses and table? Completely unnecessary. In three subsequent games, Lawson has proven just how necessary he is to North Carolina's national championship hopes.
Matured Lawson in gear
The Hampton Daily Press

Tyler Hansbrough's lemur eyes bugged with the sincerity that makes him impossible to dislike. Until last weekend, when North Carolina reached its second straight Final Four, heavy has hung the crown - mainly, because he won the wrong one, and said so.
For North Carolina's Hansbrough, payoff is two games away
The Philadelphia Daily News

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