UNC Basketball: Keys to Tar Heels Avoiding Upset Against Ohio Bobcats

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UNC Basketball: Keys to Tar Heels Avoiding Upset Against Ohio Bobcats
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The North Carolina Tar Heels are facing the Cinderella team of the 2012 NCAA Tournament tonight, the Ohio Bobcats, and need to make sure they avoid getting stomped out by a glass slipper.

They are the No. 1 seed and clearly the more skillful team overall, but the Bobcats have shown a penchant for pulling off the impossible and aren’t giving any sign that they plan on stopping.

Here is what UNC must to do to continue their March Madness run into the Final Four and avoid going home.

Do Not Worry About Kendall Marshall

It’s still uncertain if the star point guard will play, but UNC needs to proceed like he will not and just get back to the fundamentals.

They still have a handful of beasts, led by scoring phenom Harrison Barnes, and the size to dominate inside.

Who Will Win?

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Stilman White, the backup guard, can easily throw an entry pass into Tyler Zeller or John Henson and let them go to work.

They do not need Marshall to win and must believe that themselves.


The Tar Heels are much more athletic than the Bobcats at every position and should be able to lock down their opponents on defense.

Even if it means doing something unconventional like full court pressing or just running the zone press to force turnovers and ugly shots, UNC will have to figure out a way to use their length and speed to pester the Bobcats.

Bottom Line

This is going to be a rocking game between two tough opponents, but UNC is the better team and would have to make a mistake—doubting themselves because of Marshall’s injury or not playing proper defense—to lose.

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