2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

NCAA Tournament: TV Schedule & Predictions for Friday's Round 4 Action

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 18: Kendall Marshall #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels is fouled by Ethan Wragge #34 of the Creighton Bluejays in the second half during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 18, 2012 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Head coach Roy Williams of the Tar Heels announced that Marshall fractured his right wrist after he was fouled in the second half on this play. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2012

After four days off, the NCAA tournament returned on Thursday night with upsets and great finishes. Half of the Elite Eight is set, with the last four teams being determined on Friday night. 

The biggest story of the weekend, besides the actual games, will be the health of North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall, who is trying to do his best Willis Reed impression and lift the Tar Heels to a title. 

We will have a look at all the action for Friday, and what to expect when the games tip off. 

 

REGION, MATCHUP DATE, TIME NETWORK
 South: No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 10 Xavier  March 23, 7:15 p.m. EST  CBS
 Midwest: No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 13 Ohio  March 23, 7:47 p.m. EST  TBS
 South: No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 4 Indiana  March 23, 9:45 p.m. EST  CBS
 Midwest: No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 11 NC State  March 23, 10:17 p.m. EST  TBS

 

Best Matchup: Kentucky vs. Indiana

On paper, the Friday slate of games doesn't exactly jump out at you, except for one marquee matchup. 

Kentucky and Indiana are two of the biggest names in college basketball.

These two played one of the best games of the year, with Indiana handing Kentucky it's only loss in the regular season thanks to a three-pointer at the buzzer. 

Anthony Davis didn't play a lot in that game due to foul trouble, so watch out for him to see how much of a difference he makes for the Wildcats. 

The Hoosiers were known for their strong shooting prowess in the regular season, but their defense has stepped up nicely in two tournament games. They will have to play the game of their lives to make it to the Elite Eight. 

 

Predictions

Baylor vs. Xavier

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 10:  Perry Jones III #1 of the Baylor Bears drives against Ricardo Ratliffe #10 of the Missouri Tigers in the first half during the championship game of the 2012 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 10, 2012
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Neither team has had a difficult road to this matchup. Baylor is much stronger on paper, but Xavier has come together since that embarrassing brawl with Cincinnati. 

When all is said and done, the Bears' firepower will be too much for the Musketeers to handle. They will be headed to the Elite Eight. 

 

North Carolina vs. Ohio

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 18:  Tyler Zeller #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels battles for a rebound with Antoine Young #30 of the Creighton Bluejays in the second half during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Colise
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Kendall Marshall's wrist is going to be the focus of this matchup, regardless of whether or not he plays. 

The Bobcats have been the darlings of the tournament up to this point, but they don't have the athletes to compete with North Carolina for a 40-minute game, even if Marshall doesn't suit up. 

 

Kentucky vs. Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, IN - DECEMBER 10:  Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Hoosiers and Doron Lamb #20 of the Kentucky Wildcats battle for a loose ballduring the Indiana 73-72 victory at Assembly Hall on December 10, 2011 in Bloomington, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Ly
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

This game could be one of the best in the tournament, but it could just as easily be a blowout. 

Kentucky is far more talented than the Hoosiers. Anthony Davis is a difference-maker in the middle and his presence should keep Cody Zeller in check. 

The Hoosiers will keep shooting until the final buzzer sounds, but it won't be enough to hang with the Wildcats. 

 

Kansas vs. NC State

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 18:  C.J. Williams #21 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack celebrates after the Wolfpack defeated the Georgetown Hoyas  during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 18, 2012 in Colu
Rob Carr/Getty Images

If you are looking for an upset, this is the game to focus on. 

The Wolfpack have finally started to play up to their potential. They can shoot the ball as well as any team left in the dance. Their defense has gotten better since tournament play began. 

It is going to be close, but somehow, someway the Wolfpack will find a way to survive and advance. 

 

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