2012 Sweet 16 Teams in the Most Trouble by Region – NCAA Tournament Betting: With as unpredictable as the NCAA tournament has become, any team that has survived to make the Sweet 16 still has a fighting chance to make a run to the Final Four and beyond. However, that doesn’t mean that certain teams aren’t facing a much tougher road than others. Whether it be injuries, tough matchups or whatever else, each region of the NCAA tournament bracket has one team that will have to deal with some serious adversity in order to make it to New Orleans.
2012 Sweet 16 South Region Team in the Most Trouble
No. 7 Xavier: Yes, the Musketeers were ranked in the top 10 nationally at one point this season, and yes, Tu Holloway is one of the better all-around guards in the country. However, the same weaknesses that caused Xavier to tumble out of the top 25 and on to the NCAA tournament bubble still exist, even though the Musketeers have rallied to reach the Sweet 16. Holloway and backcourt mate Mark Lyons have been a rollercoaster ride all season, dominating one night and struggling from the field the next. That type of inconsistent shooting, especially from Xavier’s two best players, isn’t conducive to a deep tournament run. More importantly, the Musketeers have been overpowered and undermanned in the paint all season, and with the likes of Perry Jones III, Cody Zeller and Anthony Davis still alive in the South Region, Xavier is going to have its hands full.
2012 Sweet 16 West Region Team in the Most Trouble
No. 3 Marquette: Every coaching legend has to get their start somewhere, and Marquette’s Buzz Williams certainly has the personality to do great things. That being said, the other three coaches in the West Region are Rick Pitino, Tom Izzo and Billy Donovan. Not only have all three reached the Final Four multiple times, but all three have national titles on their coaching resume. Granted, the Golden Eagles have a dynamic scoring duo in Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, but they are a fast-paced team that can struggle when the game slows down and is played in the half court. Unfortunately for Marquette, the pace of the game always slows down in March, and games that go down to the wire are part of the territory. In a tight game, the edge has to go to the teams led by experienced and battle-tested coaches, especially when they are some of the greatest coaches in the game today.
2012 Sweet 16 East Region Team in the Most Trouble
No. 2 Ohio State: On one hand, Ohio State has an excellent starting five. The Buckeyes have a lockdown defender in point guard Aaron Craft, and they have three players averaging more than 15 points per game in Jared Sullinger, Deshaun Thomas and William Buford. On the other hand, the Buckeyes don’t have much depth, they don’t shoot the ball well from the perimeter, and they struggle against physical defenses. Looking at the East Region, Ohio State first has to find a way to deal with a very physical Cincinnati defense in an in-state rivalry game. If the Buckeyes get past the Bearcats, they are looking at either a rubber match against Wisconsin or a meeting with the Syracuse 2-3 zone that will expose their lack of 3-point shooting. Either way, Ohio State is looking at a couple of tough matchups.
2012 Sweet 16 Midwest Region Team in the Most Trouble
No. 1 North Carolina: With one awkward fall by point guard Kendall Marshall, the Tarheels went from a favorite to win the national title to a team with a lot of question marks. While North Carolina still has Tyler Zeller, Harrison Barnes, James McAdoo and a banged-up John Henson in the frontcourt, Marshall is the lasted in a long line of injuries to the team’s backcourt. A big part of North Carolina’s offense is its fast pace and ability to get easy baskets in transition. With Marshall either out or greatly limited, that aspect of the offense is compromised. Completely changing styles of play in the middle of the NCAA tournament won’t be easy, but the Tarheels are likely going to have to figure out how to be successful as mainly a half court team. It may be asking too much, even from a team with as much talent as North Carolina.
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