CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -Marcus Ginyard has done everything he can to help North Carolina chase its national championship dreams, including playing four positions due to injuries, foul trouble and matchups.
That's not to say the junior doesn't have some personal goals, too.
``I'm really hoping coach will let me guard a five-man one time, just go on the record of playing every spot out there,'' he said.
Ginyard's role as the Tar Heels' do-everything guy has been key to claiming the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, which would keep them in their home state until the Final Four. The 6-foot-5 junior played point guard, routinely guarded the opponent's best perimeter scorer and was the locker-room leader who was content to do the little things while All-American Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson took most of the shots.
His play was pivotal in the Tar Heels (32-2) surviving a tough three-game stretch at last week's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte. It will be just as critical if they hope to make a deep run in the tournament, which they open Friday in nearby Raleigh against the winner of Tuesday's Coppin State-Mount St. Mary's game.
``He is absolutely sensational at everything he does for our team, every moment he's out on the court, every moment in the locker room,'' North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. ``You can't touch everything he does for our team. You really can't.''
Ginyard ranks sixth on the team in scoring (7.6 points) and fifth in rebounding (4.6). But his versatility allows Williams to frequently juggle the lineup, whether it meant playing Ginyard as the backup point when Lawson missed almost seven full games with a sprained ankle or putting him at power forward late in Sunday's 86-81 win against Clemson in the ACC final.
Ginyard made the all-tournament team along with Hansbrough and Ellington after one of his best stretches of the season. He had 10 points, six rebounds and four assists in Friday's quarterfinal win against Florida State, then followed with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists in a last-second win against Virginia Tech in Saturday's semifinals.
He had 10 points and nine rebounds against the Tigers and ended up guarding the 6-9, 230-pound James Mays late.
The only thing he hasn't done for the Tar Heels?
``He can't do dishes,'' said Hansbrough, one of Ginyard's roommates.
Ginyard, who has served as the team's de-facto spokesman after games, shrugs off the attention. He's more likely to talk about how driven he is to reach the Final Four after last year's crushing loss to Georgetown in the NCAA's round of eight, or how he never wants to walk off the court feeling like he could have done more.
``For you not to give that effort, it's a terrible feeling to have inside yourself to know you're cheating not only yourself but your teammates,'' he said. ``When you see guys ... that really put it on the line not only for themselves but for the team, you'd be crazy for you not to want to do the same thing.''
That explains why Ginyard continues to play through a line of injuries, from a sprained right ankle suffered in last month's double-overtime win against Clemson to an injured left big toe. Now he's playing through a painful stress reaction in his left foot, though he's quick to say it won't stop him.
``It's never been enough pain for me to think that slowing down is better than reaching the Final Four, or better than reaching the national championship game,'' he said. ``There's nothing at this point that'll be painful enough to stop me unless it would break.''
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