Let it Begin!
Kalin Lucas is one of the best point guards in the nation right now and has played great throughout the tournament. However, Lawson is back to 100% and is playing amazing throughout the tournament. Lawson is faster and a better scorer than lucas.
Wayne Ellington had another great shooting night against Villanova. He shot well at ford field earlier in the year during UNC's 35 point blowout of MSU, so I think he feels confident and comfortable with the rims. Walton is a great defender and won't make it easy on Wayne, but I would expect 15-25 points from Ellington tonight.
Danny Green is out of his shooting slump and back to being a versitle scorer for the Heels. Green is also a great rebounder and, while not a great man on defender, is able to block shots down low. Raymar Morgan may be one of the best offensive players on MSU and while he has to deal with a pesky face mask like Hansbrough did a couple years ago, he still will be a great presence. Overall I think the matchup is a wash.
Deon Thompson is a solid forward who can score and has a nice short range jumper, but has not been much of a factor so far. However Delvon Roe has not been much of an offensive factor either putting up numbers similar to Thompson.
Goran Suton was noticible abscence during the first meeting. Suton is a solid outside shooter and a good presence on the boards. That said, Hansbrough was last year's player of the year and will make his presence felt both down low and with his improving mid-range jump shot. Psycho T gets the edge.
Ed Davis is a future NBA lottery pick who is a force down low offensively and defensively. Bobby Frasor is a solid leader and while he is not explosive offensively he has a solid shot and makes his presence felt defensively. Zeller and Drew are both solid player but are young and don't add much. Overall UNC won't get much more than 16 points from their bench (unless they blow open a huge lead). The Spartans get much more production off their deeper bench. That said much of that depth is freshman who may get rattled by the situation.
Both are well coached teams so no huge edge there (Roy williams fortunately did not coach MSU). Much has been made about the home crowd in Detroit and MSU playing for the state of Michigan. While those are factors, UNC has upperclassmen that returned for a title and have looked methodical on their mission since the start of the tournament. UNC has more senior leadership and the condifence from beating the Spartans earlier in the year.
UNC 87, MSU 72