Lehigh (12-4) at North Carolina (12-3)

Reason to watch: North Carolina has learned to play hard. Lehigh isn't afraid of a fight. How do you react when you get punched in the mouth? Background checks: Carolina hasn't been to Championship Weekend since 1993. The Tar Heels won titles in 1981, 1982 and 1986 for then-coach Willie Scroggs with rosters brimming with Baltimoreans. This rendition has won nine straight games. The Atlantic Coast Conference is 22-4 against the Patriot League since 2009. Lehigh has won seven straight and is 26-7 over the past two years with two Patriot League titles for coach Kevin Cassese. Cassese played at Duke, so he understands this challenge. Lehigh, making its second NCAA appearance, has never won a playoff game. Star power: Gilman grad Marcus Holman averages 4.9 points per game. The attack trio of Holman, Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey play at a frenetic pace. Lehigh goalie Matt Poillon (pictured) is 11-2 as a starter this year for a squad tied for second in the country in scoring defense. Ty Souders is Lehigh's most accomplished cover man, and Mike Noone calls the signals. What could make the difference? The Heels are faster. Carolina is a difficult matchup for Lehigh's defense, which usually doubles the ball-carrier quickly. Defenders must run hip-to-hip with the Carolina jitterbugs, take away the interior and funnel dodgers into savable shots for Poillon. Lehigh has 14 seniors, and 10 play a lot. Cassese tweaked the offense after a loss to Massachusetts on March 20, and now everybody is contributing. Carolina's defense has the tendency to run out of gas. It doesn't substitute much and has trouble completing the last 10 minutes. Both teams had a bye week, so look for a slow start and a fantastic finish. I think this is the best game of the bunch.
Lehigh Athletics
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