2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

NCAA Bracket 2012: Ohio State and Favorites Who Will Cruise to Elite 8

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17:  Head coach Thad Matta of the Ohio State Buckeyes talks with Jared Sullinger #0 late in the second half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on March 17, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
T.J. McaloonContributorMarch 19, 2012

The great teams find ways to win no matter what adversities are thrown in front of them. It's why a team like the Ohio State Buckeyes will cruise to an easy victory in their Sweet 16 matchup against the Cincinnati Bearcats. 

If you have picked these favorites to go deep in the NCAA tournament, they will reward you with a big victory. 

 

Ohio State Buckeyes 

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17:  Head coach Thad Matta of the Ohio State Buckeyes argues with a referee during a timeout in the second half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Ohio State head coach Thad Matta has this team focused and playing some great basketball, winning their first two NCAA tournament games. The wins over Loyola (MD), 78-59, and Gonzaga, 73-66, were due in part to some big performances from sophomore Jarred Sullinger. 

Sullinger has seen his game improve over those two victories. He started with 12 points in their first game, only to improve his scoring to 18 against Gonzaga. 

In the Sweet 16, Sullinger will be a big reason why the Buckeyes will move onto an Elite Eight matchup against the winner of Wisconsin and Syracuse. Sullinger will have a performance against Cincinnati where he carries the Buckeyes with 22 points and 14 rebounds. 

 

North Carolina Tar Heels

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 18:  Kendall Marshall #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts from the bench while taking on the Creighton Bluejays during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 18, 2012 in Gr
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

North Carolina has not trailed in the second half during their two victories during the NCAA tournament. They blew out Vermont 77-58 and then dismantled a good Creighton team in the third round, 87-73. 

The Tar Heels have gotten a total team effort from their starters. Against Creighton, all of North Carolina’s starters finished in double-figures, with sophomore Kendall Marshall leading the charge with 18 points and 11 rebounds. 

Marshall and the rest of the talented starting five from North Carolina will be too much for the No. 13-seed Ohio Bobcats in their Sweet 16 game. The Tar Heels will move on to another Elite Eight. 

 

Baylor Bears

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - MARCH 17: Brady Heslip #5 of the Baylor Bears celebrates hitting a 3-point shot in the first half against the Colorado Buffaloes during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at The Pit on March 17, 2012 in Albuquer
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Baylor may be a No. 3 seed, but they have the talent to be a No. 1 or 2 seed like North Carolina and Ohio State. 

The Bears are led by the sharpshooting talents of sophomore Brady Heslip. Heslip has gone off in the NCAA tournament, hitting 5 three-pointers in Baylor's opening game against South Dakota State. However, he carried the Bears in their third-round game against Colorado, hitting 9 three-pointers while scoring 27 points.

Heslip will find room against Xavier in the Sweet 16, which will result in another 20-point game for the talented sophomore.  

These three teams will move onto the Elite Eight, with a great chance to move onto the Final Four. 

 

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