Largest point differential
For an NCAA tournament champion since 1985.
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.
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.
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).
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
This isn't a repeat.
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.