Lawson starts for UNC

March, 21, 2009
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Life just got more difficult for the LSU Tigers. A North Carolina school spokesman recently made the rounds and confirmed that ACC Player of the Year Ty Lawson will start instead of Bobby Frasor.

The question is: How rusty will he be, and how long will he last? He injured his toe on March 6 and has missed the past three games. He is averaging 15.9 points, and has made 93 assists and 31 turnovers in his past 14 games. UNC is 14-1 during that stretch. If he's in top form, Lawson will be a difference-maker in the game. UNC coach Roy Williams said on Friday that in all of his years coaching, he's never seen a player accelerate like Lawson can and push the ball up the floor.

Frasor has played well in Lawson's absence, but will be the first to admit he wasn't blessed with Lawson's speed. Don't forget, though, that LSU guard Garrett Temple has been there, defended that. He was on the 2006 LSU team that went to the Final Four, and he was the one who sent J.J. Redick home. LSU prepared as if Lawson were starting.

Sea of blue
UNC obviously has a home-court advantage, and LSU knew it would be that way. The Coliseum isn't quite filled, but there is an overwhelming majority of Carolina blue in the stands. Just how much of a home-court advantage is it? UNC is 4-0 in NCAA tournament games played in Greensboro and 26-1 in tournament games played in the state of North Carolina.



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