- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 4, 2009

DETROIT (AP) - Wayne Ellington broke Jay Wright’s heart again.

First the kid from the Philadelphia suburbs with the smooth jump shot chose to play for North Carolina over Wright’s Villanova program a few years ago. Now he’s a big reason the Wildcats’ surprising Final Four run is over and the Tar Heels have moved on to play for the national championship everyone expected them to win in the preseason.

Ellington scored 13 of his 20 points in the first half to help the Tar Heels beat the Wildcats 83-69 on Saturday night. His fast start was a big reason why the Tar Heels controlled the game from tipoff, helping them push out to a double-digit lead and keeping the Wildcats playing catch-up the rest of the night.

And while he had a relatively quiet second half, he came through with a pair of key 3-pointers that helped the Tar Heels (33-4) finally put the game away.

Ellington finished 7-for-14 from the floor and hit five 3-pointers, his second strong shooting performance of the season in cavernous Ford Field. In December, he had 17 points on 8-for-14 shooting in the 98-63 rout of Michigan State, the last team standing between the Tar Heels and their season-long pursuit of the title that got away last season.

It was exactly the type of performance that North Carolina coach Roy Williams had envisioned when he recruited the 6-foot-4 guard out of Wynnewood, Pa. Unfortunately, the same could be said of Wright _ who playfully said this week that Ellington’s decision to head south “broke my heart, man.”

This time, Ellington probably made it feel far worse.

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