CHAPEL HILL, NC (The Spread) – It would appear as though the North Carolina Tar Heels are prepared to play without point guard Kendall Marshall this Friday as the 2012 March Madness tournament rolls into the Sweet 16.
Marshall had surgery on Monday to insert a screw into his fractured right wrist and while he could play against 13th-seeded Ohio this weekend, North Carolina is waiting to see how he progresses the rest of the week.
"If he comes running in here now and says, 'God, I can play!' I'll say, 'Well, let's talk about it,'" said head coach Roy Williams. "But he's in a frickin' cast. ... I cannot give you any answers. I've given everybody all the answers I can give, because I have said honestly, 'I do not know.'"
The Tar Heels haven’t had much luck at the guard position this season. They lost backup point guard and starting shooting guard Dexter Strickland to a knee injury in January and will use freshman Stilman White and senior Justin Watts as their ball handlers versus Ohio. Stilman ha sonly averaged 4.3 minutes per game while Watts has played in only two contests at point guard this season.
Oddsmakers currently list North Carolina’s odds at 6/1 to win the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Michigan State is also 6/1 while Kansas is 8/1 and Ohio State is 5/1. The Kentucky Wildcats remain the favorites to win this year’s March Madness tourney at 2/1.