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Two certainties in Heels-Huskies: A fast pace and Thomas trash talking

Mar 20, 2011, 8:30 AM EST

That last time North Carolina dealt with Isiah Thomas, he couldn’t be stopped in the 1981 national title. The new version has that same ability.

And he’ll let them know about it.

Washington (24-10) and their talented point guard, Isaiah Thomas – who is named after the former Indiana and Detroit Pistons star – are ready to rev up their offense when they face the East’s No. 2 seeded Tar Heels Sunday in Charlotte. Expect a fast, fast game.

And expect Thomas to talk. Have you seen his Twitter account? It’s nothing but playful jabs and trash talk.

“I love it,” Thomas said Saturday. “I mean, our backs are up against the wall. We have very few fans here. It feels like everybody is against us like it’s been the whole season. So it’s nothing new.

“We know it’s going to be a lot of baby blue in the crowd. We’re ready for it. It’s the NCAA tournament.”

He better be ready. North Carolina will have a sizable contingent supporting them. (Or course, any Duke fans waiting for the Devils’ tip-off after the UW-UNC game will almost certainly back the Huskies.)

“We’re two hours away and we know we have a lot of fans here supporting us,” UNC guard Dexter Strickland said. “So the intensity of the crowd will help us get more intensity and play with a better sense of urgency.”

The Heels (27-7) are coming off a 102-87 win over Long Island that saw Roy Williams pleased about the points, but not the 18 turnovers. The Huskies are ready to bring plenty of pressure themselves, which should create a game that has the winner hit at least 90 points.

Thomas isn’t the only one who’s excited for this.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.