posted on March 24, 2012 09:51
Did North Carolina miss point guard Kendall Marshall? Is the sky blue?
No doubt, the Heels missed their floor leader on Friday night. Despite a huge size advantage over Ohio University, the Bobcats were able to make enough three-pointers and hustle their way to overtime, But in the end, North Carolina had a little too much and advanced to face Kansas in the Midwest regional semifinals.
Sophomore Harrison Barnes, who started out 1-for-12, scored five of his 12 points in overtime to lead UNC to a 73-65 win over Cinderella #13 seed Ohio U from St. Louis.
Ohio was trying to become the first team seeded 13 or worse to make the regional finals since the NCAA Tournament expanded in 1985. They had a chance to convert a three-point play that would have given the Bobcats the lead with 25 seconds left in regulation. Walter Offutt missed from the line, however, and Ohio went 0 for 6 from the field in the first overtime of this year's tournament.
Tyler Zeller finished with 20 points and a career-high 22 rebounds for North Carolina. The Tar Heels had three players with double-doubles for the first time in an NCAA tournament game: Reggie Bullock had 17 points and 10 boards, and John Henson had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Freshman point guard Stilman White was an impressive fill-in for Marshall, dishing out six assists without a single turnover and playing 32 minutes -- almost three times his previous high.
Offutt led the Bobcats (29-8) with 26 points, including 18 from 3-point range, and Nick Kellogg added 14. But D.J. Cooper, who averaged 20 points in Ohio's first two tournament games, finished with just 10 on 3-of-20 shooting.