The Ohio Bobcats have a great chance at upsetting the North Carolina Tar Heels.
The Bobcats are the Cinderella team of the tournament. They came in as the No. 13 seed, but have played well enough to be considered a top team.
Ohio is led by their junior point guard D.J. Cooper. He leads the team in points and assists averaging 14.9 points and 5.7 assists per game.
Cooper will be going against an injured Kendall Marshall. Marshall broke his wrist during his game against Creighton and had to get surgery on his non-shooting hand. With the limited work that Marshall can do if he even plays, Cooper will have a big advantage.
Marshall will have trouble getting around Ohio's pick and roll and will not be able to reach for deflections as much with the hurt wrist. Cooper will be able to get through the lane and cause the Tar Heels to help defensively, which will lead to open shots.
Also, Nick Kellogg will be a key factor in another upset win for Ohio. He is the best three-point shooter for the Bobcats, shooting at 41 percent behind the arc. Kellogg will be another player who will have a better game due to Marshall's injury. Kellogg will be open around the perimeter when help defense covers the attacking Cooper.
Kellogg has proven he can hit the big three when needed as he did against South Florida. Expect more of the same from Kellogg as North Carolina has had trouble defending the three at times this season.
The Bobcats have been shooting the ball well, which is good for any team. However, it is especially good going against North Carolina. The Tar Heels are great at defending the low post with Tyler Zeller and John Henson.
Henson is also coming off a wrist injury, but seemed to be fine in the win over Creighton. He had four blocked shots and was a force down low. Ohio's great shooting ability will make them able to stay away from Henson and Zeller as much as they can as they hit mid-to-long-range jumpers.
If Ohio can stop the transition game for the Tar Heels, they should be able to win this game. The transition game is where North Carolina is at its best. Ohio will struggle to run in transition with the injury to Marshall and may have to rely on Harrison Barnes to create an open shot in the half court.
The Bobcats have a great opportunity to make it to the Elite Eight this season and could be well on their way to making their first Final Four appearance.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!