Championship game: By the numbers

April, 7, 2009
North Carolina easily cruised to its fifth national championship in school history and its first since 2005, defeating Michigan State 89-72 at Ford Field in Detroit.

Largest point differential

For an NCAA tournament champion since 1985.

Year Team Point Diff.
1996 Kentucky +129
2009 UNC +121
1990 UNLV +112
2001 Duke +100
1993 UNC +94
The Tar Heels jumped out to a 34-11 lead and never looked back as they went into halftime leading 55-34, the largest halftime lead ever in a title game. It was also the most points scored by a team in the first half of a title game.

It was a fitting end to a dominant run through the NCAA tournament for the Tar Heels, who became the first team since Florida in 2006 to win both Final Four games by at least 14 points, as well as the first team since Duke in 2001 to win each game by double digits. A 12-point win against Oklahoma in the Elite Eight was UNC's slimmest margin of victory.

ACC vs. Big Ten

In NCAA tournament title game.

Year Champion Runner-up
2009 North Carolina Michigan State
2005 North Carolina Illinois
2002 Maryland Indiana
1993 UNC Michigan
1992 Duke Michigan
1981 Indiana UNC

The win over Michigan State also improved North Carolina's record against the Spartans in the NCAA tournament to 5-0 all-time. And if the ACC was looking for bragging rights over the Big Ten, it can point to its record against the Big Ten in NCAA tournament national championship games. It was the fifth straight win for the ACC over the Big Ten in a title game.

Wayne Ellington was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player. He scored 19 points against MSU, and he was 8-of-10 from 3-point range in two Final Four games. Tyler Hansbrough finished his final game in a Tar Heel uniform with 18 points and seven rebounds, giving him 325 career points in the NCAA tournament. Hansbrough also joined an elite group of players to have scored 2,000 career points, grabbed 1,000 career rebounds and won a national championship in their final game, joining Christian Laettner, Danny Manning, Greg Kelser and Lew Alcindor.

Career scoring leaders

In NCAA tournament history.

Player School Points
Christian Laettner Duke 407
Elvin Hayes Houston 358
Danny Manning Kansas 328
Tyler Hansbrough UNC 325
Oscar Robertson Cincinnati 324

Ty Lawson continued his great tournament run with 21 points, 8 steals, 6 assists and 4 rebounds against Michigan State. Lawson equaled a Final Four record with 10 steals over the two games and ended the tourney with 104 points, 34 assists and 21 rebounds. That puts him in lofty company: He became just the fifth player since 1997 to total 100 points, 30 assists and 20 rebounds in a single tournament, joining Derrick Rose (Memphis, 2008), Dwyane Wade (Marquette, 2003), Jason Williams (Duke, 2001) and Andre Miller (Utah, 1998).

DETROIT -- North Carolina freshman Ed Davis, who scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Monday night's 89-72 rout of Michigan State in the NCAA national championship game at Ford Field, said he'll definitely return to school for his sophomore season.

Davis, a 6-foot-10 forward from Richmond, Va., averaged 6.5 points and 6.5 rebounds this season. Some UNC fans feared Davis would do what sixth man Marvin Williams did when the Tar Heels won the 2005 national championship. Williams entered the NBA draft and was the No. 2 overall selection by the Atlanta Hawks.

Davis said he won't even consider testing the NBA draft without signing with an agent.

"I'm definitely coming back," Davis said.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was certainly impressed by Davis.

"Davis did a great job," Izzo said. "He's a very good rebounder. He's long. As he gets more physical, I think he's got a chance to be probably their next great, great one."

DETROIT -- Tonight's crowd shattered the NCAA record for attendance at a Final Four.

The finals crowd of 72,922 at Ford Field is the second-largest to ever watch a college basketball game. A crowd of 78,129 watched Michigan State play Kentucky at this very venue on Dec. 13, 2003.

Tonight's crowd is also the largest to watch an NCAA tournament game or session, beating the previous record of 72,456 set here for Saturday night's national semifinals.

It's also the biggest crowd for an NCAA championship game, besting the previous mark of 64,959 set when Indiana and Syracuse played for the 1987 national title at the Louisiana Superdome.

Ford Field drew a two-day crowd of 145,378, the biggest in Final Four history.

DETROIT -- There's more than seven minutes to play in the game, and UNC point guard Ty Lawson has already set an NCAA championship game record with eight steals. At one point he had the game's only eight steals.

Lawson broke the former mark of seven, set by Duke's Tommy Amaker against Louisville in 1986 and Oklahoma's Mookie Blaylock against Kansas in 1988.

His eight steals also tie the record for any NCAA tournament game. Three other players -- Arkansas' Darrell Hawkins (vs. Holy Cross in 1993), Duke's Grant Hill (vs. California in 1993) and Ball State's Duane Clemens (vs. UCLA in 2000) also had eight steals in an NCAA game.

DETROIT -- Ed Davis just scored and got fouled by Goran Suton to put the Tar Heels up 20.

Tyler Hansbrough said earlier this week that he wasn't sure how good Davis was when he first got to campus. But once he started to play, it was clear Davis was the real deal.

If Davis were to sniff at the NBA, he would get a long look. He has the potential to be a star for the Tar Heels. He's starting to really get how to play in the post and is already a disruptive defensive presence. The Tar Heels should feel good about next season with Davis next to Deon Thompson as the primary post players.

Wayne Ellington had to have a good weekend to feel comfortable about declaring for the draft. I would say it's a safe bet he'll be gone with the way he's been shooting the basketball against Villanova and Michigan State.

DETROIT -- It was a historic first half for the Tar Heels …

North Carolina scored the most points ever in the first half of a title game (55). The previous record was Syracuse's 53 versus Kansas in 2003.

North Carolina's 21-point halftime lead is the largest in title game history. The previous mark was 18, which happened twice: UCLA over Dayton in 1967 and Ohio State over Cal in 1960.

DETROIT -- They just introduced Michael Jordan here as part of the halftime festivities honoring the newest Hall of Fame class. Sort of seems like pouring salt in the wound if you ask me. Carolina beat Michigan State 98-63 in December and is beating the Spartans by 21 at the half. And if that's not enough to send the message we're better than you, we're gonna roll out the greatest player in history to remind you. Zing.

DETROIT -- The Big Ten tradition continues.

Tradition of being bum-rushed out of a national championship, that is.

Michigan State is following the beatdown trail blazed by Ohio State in football and basketball -- two lopsided losses in the BCS Championship Game (one against Florida, one against LSU) and a solid beating in the 2007 basketball title game (down 11 at halftime to Florida, ultimately lost by nine).

At least Illinois died with its boots on in the '05 hoops title game.

The last Big Ten title in hoops looks like it will remain 2000 (Michigan State). The only big-six conference with a longer title drought is the Pacific-10 (Arizona, 1997).

DETROIT -- They were right. The players and coaches who insisted this game wouldn't be a repeat of the December meeting between North Carolina and Michigan State were exactly right.

This isn't a repeat.

It's worse.

In December, North Carolina led 53-39 at the break. Tonight, it's 55-34, the most lopsided halftime whupping in a national championship game. The previous record belonged to Ohio State, which led California by 18 in 1960.

North Carolina also scored the most points ever in the first half of a title game. The previous record was Syracuse's 53 versus Kansas in 2003.

North Carolina came out bumping people out of the way -- Deon Thompson sort of walked into Travis Walton at the opening tip -- and hasn't stopped knocking the Spartans on their heels. Wayne Ellington has all but melted Walton's Big 10 defensive player of the year award. Ellington has 17 first-half points, hasn't missed a 3-pointer and has canned 7 of 9 from the floor.

The early party atmosphere here at Ford Field instead has turned into a wake, save the small sliver of this pie belonging to the cruising Heels' fans.

Meantime, Michigan State faithful have resorted to cheering when their Spartans briefly got the deficit under 20 points.

DETROIT -- Got one simple question here: Is Tom Izzo saving his timeouts for another game that we don't know about? Michigan State needs to find a way to stop the bloodletting here, yet Izzo is standing resolutely on the sidelines as the deficit widens and the energy that filled the building in the pregame is sucked out with a vacuum. The Spartans look tentative and discombobulated on both ends of the court while North Carolina is getting what it wants, when it wants it.