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Can Henderson, Ole Miss win West Regional?
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On March 24, 2013 @ 6:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Scott Gleeson and Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to another session of Bracket Briefing, an attempt to provide you with essential information on the Big Dance — highlighting the Florida Gulf Coasts and Harvards of the college basketball world, and forecasting the Ali Farokhmanesh and Steph Curry moments before they happen.
Teams left: 22
The first word: We saw Gonzaga become the first No. 1 team to fall Saturday night with a loss to Wichita State. Which No. 1 falls next? While Louisville has looked like a title-driven team, Kansas looked shaky in its tournament opener against Western Kentucky. Playing a very underrated North Carolina team Sunday night, the Jayhawks are certainly on the hot seat.
Marshall Mania: The tournament’s most polarizing player, the taunting and emotional Marshall Henderson, will look to lead Ole Miss to the Sweet 16 in a game (7:40 p.m. ET, truTV) against another surprise team in La Salle. When asked how Henderson might affect other teams, Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy put it perfectly.
“For us, there’s no question. ‘Marshall Mania’ affects the psyche of the other team,” Kennedy said. “How can you avoid it? Marshall this, Marshall that. For us it’s another day at the office.”
It’s obvious Henderson has an influence…
Burning question: In a wild West Regional, The No. 1 (Gonzaga), No. 3 (New Mexico), No. 4 (Kansas State), No. 5 (Wisconsin) and No. 7 (Notre Dame) seeds have all fallen.
It might have sounded absurd before the tournament, but now it’s not nearly as far-fetched. Can Ole Miss win the West Regional? That would mean beating La Salle first, then a beatable Wichita State team that took down No. 1 Gonzaga. Two wins would put the Henderson-led Rebels in the Elite 8. That would leave Ohio State or Arizona. If Ole Miss could handle the tenacity of Wisconsin’s defensive pressure, it could do the same against Ohio State. And Arizona has certainly been proven to be vulnerable throughout the season despite a strong start to the tournament.
What you missed today: Ohio State moved to the round of 16 after a last-second win over Iowa State.
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