Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tyler Hansbrough, University of North Carolina: Fulfilling a Championship Dream

"Nothing beats this feeling right here. This is the best way to go out. I couldn't picture it any other way."

--Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina All-American, after he and his Tar Heels teammates soundly beat the Michigan State Spartans, 89-72, in the NCAA championship game. The final score was the largest title-game margin in 17 years.

"This is the culmination of a dream he's had since he was old enough to know what a basketball is. This is something he's had in his mind since he was a little boy, to be a national champion. All the individual awards are nice, but this is a team sport. It's always meant more for him to win as a team."

--Gene Hansbrough, Tyler Hansbrough's father, discussing a championship mindset.

Hansbrough turned down an opportunity for NBA money and glory last year for a shot at leading North Carolina to the NCAA basketball title.

In his last college game, Hansbrough had a typically solid game with 18 points and seven rebounds. He is one of the most successful and decorated college basketball players in history. He is a three-time consensus All-American. He is also the fourth all-time leading scorer in NCAA tournament play with 325 points, the Atlantic Coast Conference all-time leading scorer and the first player in conference history to lead his team in scoring and rebounding in each of his four years.

Watch the ESPN.com highlights of the game below.

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