Tonight's Midwest region matchups are primed and ready for an upset, but will that actually happen?
Top-seeded North Carolina is facing off against this year's Cinderella squad—the Ohio Bobcats—and they will likely be without starting point guard Kendall Marshall.
If this weren't the NCAA tournament, I wouldn't even be worried about North Carolina beating Ohio without Marshall, but Ohio is playing great basketball right now after pulling off upsets over both Michigan and South Florida.
Unfortunately, while I am slightly worried about this being a potential upset, North Carolina should still pull out the win due to superior talent across the board. I'm just not even sure Ohio can match up defensively with North Carolina—like, at all.
The Bobcats run a three-guard/two-forward set, where as North Carolina runs a more typical two-guard/three-forward set.
The Bobcats' tallest starter, Ivo Baltic, measures in at 6'8"—North Carolina's Tyler Zeller has a solid four inches on Baltic, John Henson has two to three inches on him, and small forward Harrison Barnes is 6'8" himself!
Barnes is athletic enough to guard Ohio's 6'3" shooting guard Walter Offutt (who carried the Bobcats in their win over South Florida), but Offutt certainly won't be able to guard Barnes. The Bobcats will have to run a zone, and North Carolina will shoot their way to an easy victory—even without Marshall.
So that only leaves one game for an upset to be had: No. 2 seed Kansas versus 11th-seeded North Carolina State. This should be a very close game, and while Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson may be the best player on the court, North Carolina State's combo forward C.J. Leslie is going to give him a run for his money.
The Wolfpack are just too hot right now to bet against, and unlike Ohio, they actually have good-sized athletes on their roster that can match up to the big boys. Due to their defensive pressure, North Carolina State was able to force Georgetown into a number of bad shots—that ultimately won them the game.
However, they're going to have to shoot better than 37 percent (what they shot against Georgetown) to beat the Jayhawks.
Other than Syracuse against Ohio State, this might be the most exciting game to watch in the tournament.