By Drew Olson Special to Published Mar 30, 2009 at 5:29 AM

North Carolina looked efficient and emphatic while dispatching Oklahoma from the NCAA tournament with a 72-60 victory Sunday afternoon in Memphis. The Tar Heels head to the Final Four in Detroit, where they likely will be regarded as a prohibitive favorite.

The local favorite at Ford Field will be Michigan State, which opened the hoops doubleheader with a stirring 64-52 victory over Louisville, the top-seeded team in the entire tournament.

When you combine Sunday's games with Villanova's spine-chilling 78-76 triumph over Big East rival Pittsburgh and UConn's 82-75 decision over Missouri from the day before, it's not a stretch to say that CBS and the NCAA had a pretty solid weekend. The Final Four will feature two No. 1-seeded teams (UNC and UConn), a No. 2 (Michigan State) and a No. 3 (Villanova).

"You've got to congratulate the tournament committee again. They evidently got it pretty close to being right," Carolina coach Roy Williams said during his post-game press conference.

"No team ever goes to the Final Four and plays poorly and wins. If you don't play your best game, you go home. And we understand that, and it will be a big time challenge for us."

The stage is set for a fantastic Final Four. Though riveting, the action on the hardwood was not the most exciting sporting event on TV Sunday afternoon.

It takes a seismic performance to eclipse the NCAA quarterfinal round, and the guy who did it has become adept at making the earth tremble under his golf spikes.

The ratings might indicate otherwise, but Tiger Woods outpointed Ty Lawson's Tar Heels and Kalin Lucas' Spartans.

It really wasn't close.

Woods, who is working his way back from knee surgery, overcame a five-stroke deficit against playing partner Sean O'Hair and drained a 16-foot put on the 18th hole to wrap up a victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational championship at Bay Hill in Orlando. It was the first post-surgery victory for Woods, who matched his career-best comeback and will enter the Masters with confidence and momentum and his old swagger.

That can't be good news for the rest of the field, but it's great news for golf fans and casual viewers who like to watch drama on TV.

Woods, who marked his 66th career victory on Sunday, has the kind of "can't take your eyes off him" quality exuded by sports legends like Michael Jordan, Brett Favre and a small group of athletes who rise to the occasion when pressure is at a peak.

"It's just about being there and somehow timing it right and making putts at the right time and pull off shots at the right time," Woods told reporters afterward. "We're all trying to do it. It's just fun, some guys put themselves in contention more times than others, but still, we're all trying to win tournaments."

O'Hair, whose score of 73 Sunday marked his worst round of the tournament, had to answer the obvious question when he stepped into the media tent.

What's it like to face Tiger down the stretch?

"It's not like it's "The Tiger Show" and I'm just out there to watch him," he said. "And I think that's the one thing the media thinks about the guys out here (on tour), and it's not about that. We're trying to win golf tournaments, and he just happens to be that good. But just because he's good doesn't mean we're out there watching him."

Well, we're all watching him, Sean. And sports doesn't get much more exciting than when Tiger is hunting on Sunday.


Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.