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Whether Lawson plays or not, the Highlanders (21-11) know they'll have a tough time keeping up with the Tar Heels. Reigning national player of the year Tyler Hansbrough -- who is three points away from breaking J.J. Redick's ACC career scoring record -- is one of five players averaging at least 11 points per game, while North Carolina's bench boasts plenty of depth up front with a pair of freshmen big men in 6-foot-10 Ed Davis and 7-footer Tyler Zeller.
"There's more game tape out there on UNC than anyone else," Radford junior Joey Lynch-Flohr said. "We watch them two or three times a week just catching them on TV or on "SportsCenter." We are extremely excited to be playing UNC, but as soon as we step on the floor, all or our admiration for them goes out the window and it's just another game."
While North Carolina is a No. 1 seed for a record 13th time, Radford is making its second NCAA appearance and first since 1998. Still, coach Brad Greenberg said the Big South tournament champions must believe they will find a way to upset the team everyone picked in the preseason to win the national championship.
"There is nervousness, but a good nervousness," Greenberg said. "They should be excited. They should be nervous. But I also think that there's an element of confidence too, which has to be there. You cannot go into a game not thinking you can do it.
"Respect the heck out of the team you're playing, know they're terrific, but at the same time, be confident that you have it in you to play 40 minutes of the very, very best basketball you've ever played in your life. You have to feel that way."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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