There is nothing better than a great Cinderella story in the NCAA tournament. It is a shame that the best available will be ousted by a stronger North Carolina team when Ohio faces the Tar Heels on Friday.
North Carolina will be without star guard Kendall Marshall for Friday night's game. CBS Sports reports via Twitter that the star guard will indeed be out of the game.
Kendall Marshall will not play tonight vs Ohio. Stilman White will start in Marshall's place. (via @UNC_Basketball)— CBSSports.com (@CBSSports) March 23, 2012
With a healthy Marshall, there would be no question that UNC would steamroll through Ohio with an offensive attack that is among the best in the nation.
Marshall is the impetus for a fluid and versatile attack, and does no less than lead the Tar Heels with impeccable court vision and poise.
Without Marshall, there will be issues. North Carolina, like any team, relies heavily on their team chemistry.
That took a big hit when Marshall got hurt, and leaves a gaping hole for Ohio guards like D.J. Cooper to exploit.
There is no question that Cooper, who is already playing great ball, will benefit with Marshall out of the game tonight.
Is North Carolina doomed against Ohio?
North Carolina still has a huge advantage in talent, with phenoms like Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller taking the court.
If the Tar Heels can't out-man and overpower Ohio with that kind of lineup, they don't deserve to be in this tournament anyway.
The Bobcats will be forced to the perimeter against a star-studded front line, and any amount of inconsistency from there will mean a very quick game for Ohio.
Yes, Marshall is out, but North Carolina is still a beast on both ends of the court, and will end a magical Bobcats run.
TIMES: Friday, March 23rd
Xavier vs. Baylor: 7:15 p.m. ET, CBS
Ohio vs. North Carolina: 7:47 p.m. ET, TBS
Indiana vs. Kentucky: 9:45 p.m. ET, CBS
NC State vs. Kansas: 10:17 p.m. ET, TBS