Gonzaga-North Carolina: Their Achilles Heel(s)

Joshua NormandContributor IMarch 24, 2009

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 21:  Demetri Goodson #3 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs and teammates Jeremy Pargo #2 and Micah Downs #22 celebrate after Goodson made the game-winning basket to defeat the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Rose Garden on March 21, 2009 in Portland, Oregon. The Bulldgos defeated the Hilltoppers 83-81 to advance to the Sweet 16.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

In order for Gonzaga to beat North Carolina, they have to do a few things.

1) Play extremely good defense and slow the tempo. If they try to run with the Heels, that will play into their hands and Carolina can score with anyone in the country. North Carolina does not like to play a half-court game, despite their advantage with Hansbrough in the frontcourt. They have a lot of slashing guards who like to shoot threes.

2) Get Lawson in foul trouble and use Goodson on him, a lot. Give Demetri Goodson at least 20 minutes on Friday night. While I like Pargo, Goodson's speed could test Lawson's injury more than anyone on Radford or LSU did.

3) Heytvelt has to dominate or neutralize Hansbrough. If Tyler gets 20, Josh has to get 20, maybe even 25. Josh won this matchup in New York in November of 2006 at the Garden. This is a big stage for both of them. Let's see who wins.

4) Ira Brown has to give Few a good five to eight minutes of defense and rebounds. He isn't a scorer, but incase Heytvelt gets into foul trouble, we need some help down low and Brown can be a nuisance for the Heels.

5) Finally, relax and just play. Gonzaga hasn't been the underdog much since December, when they gave UConn a great 38-39 minutes before falling in overtime. Gonzaga was expected to dominate the WCC and the WCC tournament and even the first two games in Portland. Now they are the underdog and no one outside of the Pacific Northwest gives them a chance to win.