Breaking down NCAA Sweet Sixteen

UNC fans are hoping Marshall can play Friday.

The NCAA tournament continues this weekend in what can best be described as Blue Blood Friday.
North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana and Kansas bring a total of 20 national championships to the Sweet Sixteen. The Wildcats are the odds-on favorites to win it all, according to multiple sports books.

The main storyline will be the health of North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall. He fractured his right wrist last week, but his cast was removed. His status is uncertain.

“What we’re going to do is just practice every day, and if something weird happens that they say he can play, I’m probably going to let the guy play. But I just do not foresee that happening,” UNC coach Roy Williams told ESPN.

With that mind, let’s break down Friday’s games:

Baylor (29-7) vs. Xavier (23-12)
Friday, 7:15 p.m.
Baylor might be the only team that can push Kentucky out of the blue blood party. The Bears are led by NBA prospects Perry Jones and Quincy Miller, but it might be the silky smooth shooting of Brady Heslip that gets them to New Orleans. Xavier will pin all their hopes on all-world point guard Tu Holloway.
Pick: Baylor 66, Xavier 55

Ohio (29-7) vs. N. Carolina (31-5)
Friday, 7:47 p.m.
All eyes will be on Kendall Marshall’s right wrist. If he can’t go, look for Stilman White and Justin Watts to split the minutes. Ohio has been a nice Cinderella story, but they just don’t have the firepower to keep up with the Heels, even without Marshall.
Pick: UNC 74, Ohio 60

Kentucky (34-2) vs. Indiana (27-8)
Friday, 9:45 p.m.
The marquee matchup of the weekend — and most likely the entire tournament — is a rematch of a Dec. 10 contest. The Hoosiers won that one in dramatic fashion, following a last-second three. But this appears to be John Calipari’s year and arguably his most talented team. The Wildcats are blowing teams out with an average win margin of 15.5.
Pick: UK 70, Indiana 66

NC State (24-12) vs. Kansas (29-6)
Friday, 10:17 p.m.
The Jayhawks have looked uninterested at times in this tourney and barely survived No. 10 Purdue in the last round. At one point, Kansas coach Bill Self was heard screaming, “You told me you were ready!” They better be ready because NC State is enjoying their first trip to the Dance in six years. The key matchup to watch will be Kansas’ Thomas Robinson vs. State’s C.J. Leslie.
Pick: Kansas 60, NC State 58

Three players to watch

DJ Cooper
G, Ohio
This isn’t Cooper’s first dance. The 5-foot-11 guard helped the Bobcats take down No. 3 Georgetown in 2010 when he poured in 23 points. Two years later, the junior is averaging 20 points per contest in two upset wins over No. 4 Michigan and No. 12 South Florida. Look for him to take advantage of a Kendall Marshall-less North Carolina squad.

Christian Watford

F, Indiana
He’s the one who hit “The Shot II” — as some in Hoosier land call his buzzer-beating trey to beat Kentucky — and he’ll be sure to be on the minds of the Wildcats. In fact, ESPN has been running a promo commercial featuring Watford’s game-winner on loop this past week. “It goes in every time,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said.

Tyshawn Taylor
G, Kansas
The Jayhawks are led by National Player of the Year candidate, 6-foot-8 forward Thomas Robinson, but Taylor is the heart and soul. He’s struggled so far in this NCAA tournament, with his scoring average dipping nearly seven whole points, so it’s time to step up. The 6-foot-3 Taylor will have his work cut out for him against a bigger, more physical NC State backcourt.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.