I'm no fan of UNC. You might think that, similarly, I'm no fan of Tyler Hansbrough -- what with the whole "if he doesn't win a title, he's a failure" thing. (Leads today's SN column.)
But I actually have come around on Psycho-T. I'm not sure I like him, but I definitely respect him. He is already on the all-time college player list; with a title, he will get into some really rare air.
I also find the prospect of him NOT winning a title to be even more dramatic. Every generation needs its Ralph Sampson -- if UNC loses, that will be Hansbrough (albeit without the NBA cachet).
I actually think that Hansbrough will be a decent pro. If Paul Millsap can be a double-double machine, why can't Hansbrough. (I won't hold my breath waiting for that comparison from subtly racist draft experts who can't seem to do more than compare white players with white players.)
Anyway: Michigan State has a puncher's chance. They have great depth. The guards are playing very well. Suton may draw Hansbrough out of the lane (why not play Hansbrough and Ed Davis together, letting the springy Davis play Suton outside?) Tom Izzo is the best Tournament coach. And then the whole "Michigan State playing the game in Michigan when Michigan is totally getting hammered by the economy." That, by the way, is meaningless.
UNC just played a team that came into the game with just as much mojo as MSU has now: The Heels blitzed Villanova, and while I don't think it will be that bad in the final (nor as bad as the 35-point beat-down they delivered the Spartans at Ford Field in December), it's UNC FTW.
Oh, and it's Opening Day. Set your fantasy rosters!
Complete SN column here. See post below for the worst-ever state of my bracket.