In this third-round matchup, it's No. 2-seeded North Carolina vs. No. 10-seed Michigan. Check the rosters, the college stats and the Page 2 takes, then place your vote.
|Photos: Ford (Getty), Worthy (US Presswire), Jordan (AP)|
|Eric Neel predicts ...|
I'm sick with fever as I write this, so please forgive me my oversimplifications and delusions. But I seem to remember another man sick with fever on a late-spring afternoon in 1997. I seem to recall a certain Michael Jeffrey Jordan who -- if memory serves -- put 38 up against the Jazz while battling the aches and throes of the flu right alongside the elbows and challenges of John Stockton and Karl Malone. One hates to reduce the game to matters of will. One hates to be cliché. One hates to ignore the role of strategy and the consequences of matchups. But the Heels have Michael Jordan, see, and the Wolverines don't. And I don't know what else there is to say, really.
The Heels have a guy whose will and skill were good for six NBA titles, and though the Wolverines can counter with the gut-check toughness of Rudy T and his two rings, that counter is no match for Jordan's fever pitch.
Final score: UNC 84, Michigan 76
|Photos: Rice (Getty), Webber (Getty), Rose (Getty)|
|Scoop Jackson predicts ...|
The Carrier Dome is buzzing. 41,173 inside. The Orange has pulled off its ears. Phil Ford and Rickey Green can't wait to see C-Webb go at Bob Mac, Glen Rice and Cazzie Russell can't wait to see the Rudy T. against Billy C. Show. All the while, $ sits on the end of the bench before the game, getting his mental on.
Jalen Rose has never been afraid of Michael Jordan, and in this game, he wasn't about to start now. With that St. Cecilia's battleground inside him, Rose refused to give MJ anything easy. He pushed Mike into taking difficult shots, made him go left when he didn't want to, forced him to beat him from the outside, not allowing any dunks. But the one thing people don't remember: When MJ dropped his career-high 69 points in that playoff game, he didn't do it by getting any dunks. So as difficult as Rose made it for Jordan, he still wasn't able to stop the shots from falling: Jordan scores a tournament-high 55 points. Jalen could still hold his head up. That's just Mike.
Final score: UNC 105, Michigan 98