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Sweet 16 Midwest Bracket Betting - Midwest Regional Sweet 16 Game Picks

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/10/2014 5:16:24 AM

Game 1: Ohio Bobcats vs. North Carolina Tar Heels – Friday, March 23

As experts who bet on March Madness know, North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall is likely going to miss this game because of a fracture to a small bone in his right wrist. Marshall is the engine that makes the Carolina offense go. The Tar Heels floundered in late 2010 and early 2011 when Larry Drew III was their point guard. When Marshall stepped in, however, the Tar Heels flourished. North Carolina plays with its preferred up-tempo look when Marshall is in the game. When Marshall is out of the lineup, the Tar Heels have a much tougher time distributing the ball and getting both the movement and spacing they need in their halfcourt sets.

The Ohio Bobcats, having already beaten fourth-seeded Michigan and a tough defensive opponent from South Florida, could definitely give North Carolina trouble. Don’t look at the 12-number difference in seedings (Ohio is No. 13 in the Midwest Region, North Carolina the top seed), because North Carolina is probably a No. 8 seed without Marshall. Ohio is playing better than a No. 13 seed. Ultimately, this is about matchups and their particularities.

North Carolina has so much size near the rim with Tyler Zeller and John Henson that it should be able to kill Ohio on the boards. Even if North Carolina doesn’t hit jump shots, it should be able to win this game on the glass. Go with North Carolina… in a close one.

College Basketball Betting Pick: North Carolina

Game 2: North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Kansas Jayhawks – Friday, March 23

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, college basketball betting experts will tell you that Kansas is anything but a sure thing in this contest. The Jayhawks played terribly against Purdue on Sunday evening. Only one player, Elijah Johnson, hit perimeter shots with any degree of regularity, and it is this lack of reliable knockdown shooters that makes Kansas an incomplete team. North Carolina State will likely pack in its defense and force Kansas to make shots.

What works in Kansas’ favor, though, is that the Jayhawks aren’t likely to shoot as poorly in this game as they did against Purdue. Moreover, Kansas has more strength and power than North Carolina State does within five feet of the rim. North Carolina State has a short bench, and the Wolfpack have been very prone to foul trouble this season. If anyone on North Carolina State’s roster gets into big foul trouble, the Wolfpack will quickly run out of bodies, which means that they’ll run out of gas in the final 10 minutes of regulation.

There’s a very real chance that N.C. State can win this game, but the margins are much smaller for the Pack than they are for the Jayhawks. The percentage choice in this contest is definitely Kansas. The Jayhawks should play well after pulling off an escape job this past weekend.

College Basketball Betting Pick: Kansas

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