While most observers were waiting to see when Syracuse would fall, they failed to predict what occurred last night, as Michigan State became the first top seed casualty in the 2012 NCAA tournament. With four more Sweet Sixteen bracket predictions 2012 games to be played, we still have two more top seeds that can still fall short of the Final Four.
Much like Orange, the North Carolina Tar Heels [-11] have also been tagged as due for an upset after their starting point guard fractures his wrist. After undergoing immediate surgery, it doesn’t appear Kendall Marshall will be able to play in the regional against the Ohio Bobcats [+11] semifinals after all.
“Kendall Marshall is the best point guard I’ve ever had in several areas,” said UNC head coach Roy Williams. “One is after the other team scores, he can attack with the basketball and pitch ahead, and we can lay it up while everybody is still celebrating, hoping their girlfriend is watching them run back down the court. He can attack you after you score better than anybody. He pitches ahead better than anybody I ever had. He thinks pass first, second, third, fourth—maybe not fifth, but at least the top four.”
Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO, will play host for tonight’s Midwest regional battle between the top-seeded Tar Heels and the surprising Bobcats. This Sweet Sixteen bracket predictions 2012 game opening tipoff is slated for this evening at 7:47 PM ET. According to NCAA tournament oddsmakers, the projected OVER/UNDER line is set at a combined total of 143 points.
Ever since suffering a fracture in his right (non-shooting) wrist against Creighton, Marshall has been doing everything in his power to get back on the court ASAP. However, it appears that Williams is going to have to look elsewhere, as the 20-year-old sophomore is most likely a no-go for Friday night’s regional semis against Ohio. Are UNC vs Ohio betting odds a little too high in favor of the Heels without Marshall?
“I just know the kid tells me he can’t brush his teeth yet. How the dickens can he play a basketball game if he can’t brush his teeth?” said the Tar Heels coach. “I mean, he can go out there with bad breath, but you’ve still got to be able to play the dadgum game.”
In his place, Williams may opt to go with freshman Stilman White or senior Justin Watts. As indispensable as Marshall has been for the Heels this season, the young point guard has shown great leadership skills since breaking his wrist. Constantly talking to the would-be point guards for tonight’s game, Marshall has spent most of his time encouraging and giving them confidence to take over his job and do it well as they face a dangerous Bobcats team.
“Whether I’m playing or not, it’s not going to matter. Carolina basketball is still going to go on,” Marshall said. “They can be successful without me.”
OSH Sweet Sixteen bracket predictions: Ohio Bobcats [+11]
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