North Carolina's Ty Lawson Says He Is Ready To Play Saturday

Jacob NitzbergAnalyst IMarch 19, 2009

Immediately following No. 1 seed North Carolina's 101-58 win over No. 16 seed Radford, Tar Heels point guard Ty Lawson answered the question on everyone's mind.

"It's not painful anymore, just stiff," Lawson said when asked about his injured right toe. "I'm ready to play."

The Tar Heels dispatched of Radford easily without Lawson's services, as he missed his third straight game due to an injured right big toe. Wayne Ellington scored 25 points to lead the Tar Heels, while Tyler Hansbrough added 22 points, passing J.J. Redick to become the all-time ACC scoring leader.

Lawson, the ACC player of the year, is the key to North Carolina returning to the Final Four for a second consecutive year, and achieving their goal of bringing home the title. UNC has averaged 90.5 points per game this season, but that figure drops to just 74.5 in the two ACC Tournament games in which Lawson sat out, including a 73-70 loss to Florida State.

As much as Lawson wants to play, whether or not he actually gets in the game on Saturday will likely ultimately be up to coach Roy Williams.