As the Midwest bracket gears up for its Sweet 16 contests in St. Louis, the 2012 NCAA Tournament gets some of its last underdog match ups of the year: The No. 13 Ohio Bobcats will take on the No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels, and with Kendall Marshall injured and unlikely to play the longshots have more of a chance than anybody could have expected to knock off another No. 1 seed a day after Michigan State fell.
The Bobcats have depended all year on D.J. Cooper, a strikingly inefficient—.357 from the field this year—junior guard who nevertheless leads the team in scoring. Cooper's scored 40 points in two tournament games so far, running up the bracket with wins over Michigan and South Florida.
The Tar Heels, meanwhile, will try to find a way to move the ball around without sophomore Marshall, who led the NCAA in assists in 2011-12.
Here's more NCAA Tournament coverage from the still-aching correspondents at SB Nation St. Louis:
- No. 1 Michigan State already fell vs. Louisville, placating stricken Saint Louis fans and destabilizing yet more brackets.
- Apparently, if you're looking for cheap NCAA Tournament tickets, you need to root against the underdogs.