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Tough Break!

The Kentucky Wildcats have cruised to the Sweet 16.  Syracuse edged out a first round game (with help from the refs) and handled K State easily in the second round.  Michigan State beat up on LIU and did just enough to beat St Louis in a close game this afternoon.  These three teams have to be feeling really good about their past weekends.  Unfortunately, the last #1 seed did not get through the weekend as lucky.  In today’s win against Creighton, UNC guard Kendall Marshall went down after driving to the hoop.  He landed on his hand, shook off the injury and finished the game.  He even stayed on to play another 5 minutes in the game before taking a seat on the bench.  It was announced after the game that Marshall unfortunately fractured his wrist on his fall, and is now questionable for the remainder of the tournament.

Now I am not a doctor, but I don’t see how it’s really possible to play basketball with a broken wrist.  I am going to take this news to mean that Marshall is done for the year.  As big a loss at Fab Melo is to the Syracuse Orange, this is worse news for the Tarheels.  UNC’s offense runs through Marshall.  He is the floor leader and his close to 10 assists a game are crucial to getting the team into their flow.  Now I never want to see anybody get hurt, but since I have a Kansas vs. Kentucky finals, I am not too upset by the news.  I felt that UNC was overrated coming into the tournament, as I really didn’t think the ACC was strong at all this year, illustrated by Duke’s loss to Lehigh.  Henson had a huge game coming off his injury, and Barnes is a really nice player (though I think overrated as well and some people are talking about him as being a lottery draft pick).  However, Marshall is the most important player and I think the tournament for UNC is coming to an end.

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12 responses

  1. JMS

    Great read. I have nothing to contribute on this but a score update…

    Bobby: 1 Matt: 0

    PS. Is there a way to disallow people to reply to a ‘comment’ and only reply to a ‘post’?
    This will allow a better flow of arguments in timeline form, as opposed unorganized replies. The comments will be in chronological order making them easier to read and follow. Just an idea.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    • Just went back to read this conversation and you are right J, it is really hard to follow since its not in chronological order. We need to look into that, Matt, get on it!

      March 21, 2012 at 6:41 PM

  2. I never said that Kansas will be an easy game; even though they looked pretty bad most of the game last night. Florida State was the ACC champion and was upset by a team I fealt they should beat, but I hope you are not saying since they are the ACC champions that they are the best team in the ACC. Also, I find it strange that you are throwing out regular season rankings when you have already seen #3 ranked Missouri and #8 Duke beat in the first round. You say that most NCAA experts agree that the ACC is weaker this year and I agree with that but they are still a very talented conference. As for NC State putting up a good matchup with UNC is understandable because of the conference rivalry as well and in-state rivalry. If me saying that UNC has “by far” the easiest trip to the Final Four is what you are disagreeing with then I will change my wording. Here you go…UNC’s trip should be easier then the other 4 #1 seeds based on the fact that they have a jokable Sweet Sixteen matchup against the MAC champion Ohio Bobcats. Then in the Eilite 8, their worst case scenerio, they will be facing a Kansas Jayhawks team that really showed a weakness with constant double teams of their star Thomas Robinson. Robinson did finish with 11 points and 13 rebounds but you saw what he had to go through to get those numbers if you watched the game. Regardless of all that, I feel that NC State has a chance to beat Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen and if that happens it will only make my Tar Hells trip to the Final Four that much easier.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    • I think it’s fair to give some importance to the regular season rankings, since #1, #2, #4, #5, #6 and #7 make up 16 of the remaining teams…So the AP has some idea as to who is good and their is a rhyme and reason to the polls. Thanks for agreeing with me about the ACC being down, thats all I was looking for in regards to that…I also agree with you on your point of UNC having an easy time with Ohio, but our conversation wasn’t who would have the easiest time making the Elite Eight, I thought we were talking Final Four. If you think NC State will beat Kansas, that implies you think they are better than the Jay Hawks. With that being said, I don’t understand your point the UNC has a better chance of making the Final Four if they avoid Kansas and play the Wolfpack. Wouldn’t they have an easier time of advancing playing the weaker team, which is in your opinion Kansas? Please explain what matchups you like that favors NC State over Kansas, but UNC over NC State?
      Purdue played really well last night and the double team affected Robinson in the first half for sure…but he fought out of it and his 11 points and 13 boards were well earned.

      March 19, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      • Let me start by saying that just because one team beats another team, it does not mean that the winning team is better. Unless you feel that Lehigh is better team than Duke is then your point is invalid. My main reason for feeling that NC State is going to beat Kansas is not only the fact that they spread the ball beautifully and had 5 players this season averge double digit in points but they also do it at a staggering 46% from the field as a team. On top of that, they hold their opponents to 41% from the field. And the reason I feel that UNC will beat them in the Elite 8 is because they have already beat them 3 times this season.

        March 19, 2012 at 4:06 PM

  3. First off, what I said was that UNC has the easiest path to the Final Four out of the 4 #1 seeds and that can not be disputed what so ever. They dont face any major challenges until they reach the elite 8 where they will most likely play Kansas. Kansas barely squeeked one out against a decent but not to threatening Purdue team. Then you say that NC State can be a challenege because of the noise they made in the ACC tournament yet you also said that you, and I quote, “really didn’t think the ACC was strong at all this year.” Now I don’t agree with your assessment of the ACC because although they may not be as strong as they have been in past years, they are still one of the best, if not the best, Conferences there is. I agree that Marshall’s numbers will be hard to replace, if he is out, but the Tar Heels should still coast to the Final Four with the likes of Tyler Zeller and company.

    March 19, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    • First of all, by saying that the ACC is down is not a stretch, most NCAA experts absolutely agree with that statement. I didn’t say NC State is going to win a championship, I cited facts from a game that they played against UNC last week, I didn’t say anything about their ACC tournament run, just about their game specifically against UNC. The ACC is definitely not the best conference this year…the Big East has 4 teams, the Big Ten still has a #1 and #2 and the SEC has two teams that are better than the ACC’s two remaining. Good showing by the ACC Champs last night against Cincinatti, doubt you caught that game…

      There is no way you can say that UNC has “by far” the easiest path to the Final Four. Kansas is not an easy game at all. Two of the #2’s are already gone. That means Michigan State will have to beat out Marquette (who finished the year at a season high #11 ranking) where Kentucky will take on Baylor (finishing the year at #9) where the Tar Heels plays the #6 ranked Jay Hawks. So even if you think the Tar Heels match up well, how can you possibly make the point that they have the easist matchup and “IT CAN’T BE DISPUTED”? It just was disputed with facts, not opinions. Kansas is by far the most storied of the matchups that any of the #1’s have looming. They were top 5 most of the year. Next time come with less conviction.

      March 19, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    • You make it sound like the path from the Sweet 16 to the Final Four is really long…They play only one game between then and now, so I agree with you that they don’t have too tough of a next game, but its not like they have 3 or 4 more easy games before Kansas

      March 19, 2012 at 9:50 AM

  4. Ellen

    How about the new Wolfpack!

    March 19, 2012 at 12:14 AM

  5. Michelle

    How ’bout those GATORS???

    March 18, 2012 at 9:05 PM

  6. I have to disagree completely. Kendall Marshall is one of the best point guards in all of the NCAA and he is an integral part of the North Carolina Tar Heels, but even if he is out doesn’t mean you should write them off. Yes he fractured his wrist but he didn’t miss a beat for the rest of the game, so there is a definite possibility he can play. If he is out, the Tar Heels will still have one of the best teams in the tournament. Tyler Zeller was named ACC player of the year and is capable of dominating a game alone. Also, at this point in the tournament, it seems as if UNC has the easiest trip to the Final Four out of the 4 #1 seeds who made it to the Sweet Sixteen. This has been a remarkable March Madness so far and I am very excited for what’s to come.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    • I’ll give you that UNC should handle Ohio, but to say that they will not need their best playmaker against the likes of Kansas (as long as they get by Purdue which isn’t looking like a sure bet at all) is not accurate. The other team they will need to go through will possibly be NC State, a surprise Sweet 16 team to some people, but not to me. NC State nearly beat UNC a week ago in the ACC Tourny, and if it wasn’t for a BS non-foul call by your man Marshall, UNC loses. In the game, Marshall put up 12 points and 10 assists, without which the Tar Heels would have lost a day earlier than when they fell to the Seminoles.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM

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