The first night of Sweet 16 action in the 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament saw just one lower seed make it to the Elite 8. Only Florida held serve, needing overtime to beat BYU. Will the upsets continue tonight? There are some interesting match-ups that suggest it just might:
Tonight’s first game may appear to be a bit of a mismatch on paper, but Marquette is playing well above their performance during the regular season in a deep Big East.
A bubble-team to begin the tournament, the Golden Eagles have earned their spot in the tournament with wins over Xavier(66-55) in Round 2 and No. 3-seed Syracuse(66-62) in Round 3. Of the 11 teams the Big East had in the tournament, only two remain – including Marquette.
They face a North Carolina squad that missed the 2010 Tournament entirely. They are back and looking to get back to the Final Four this year – though they know if they get past Marquette that Kentucky or Ohio State will be on deck. There’s work to do before then, however.
MY PICK: The Tar Heels may have more raw talent than any team left in the tournament. It will be enough against Marquette.
NORTH CAROLINA 71 – MARQUETTE 63