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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Quick thoughts as NCAA tip time approaches

By Marla Published: March 15, 2012

  • Ohio State got a huge break in the East Region with the suspension of Syracuse's Fab Melo. But I don't believe the Buckeyes will reach the Final Four without a strong performance from William Buford.

  • Also wondering how the Buckeyes will handle a big man. Will have to walk the fine line of Jared Sullinger being aggressive, yet staying out of foul trouble. Recent contribution of Evan Ravenel could be key in that regard.

  • A bit worried how Thad Matta will fare against some of the best strategists in college basketball. Still think he's more of a top-notch recruiter than a superior game-day coach.

  • I may be crazy, but I believe the Ohio Bobcats have a chance to win a game or two, especially if D.J. Cooper is lighting it up. Bobcats have ex-Matta assistant John Groce and a well-balanced lineup. If the Big Ten is the top conference in college basketball this year, the Akron Zips proved they could hang with the best in a close NIT loss to Northwestern.

  • Could be a big year for Kentucky natives. Can't wait to see how Kentucky, Louisville and Murray State fare.

  • Wondering who will be this year's Cinderella. Had a tough time with that in the brackets I entered in ESPN challenge. Threw Murray State in there in one (after all, my alma mater Eastern Kentucky, plays in the Ohio Valley Conference). Not sure third-seeded Baylor or Florida State qualify.

  • Never count on my favorite team, the Louisville Cardinals, to make the Final Four. But would love to see a UK-UL showdown in New Orleans. (Sorry, I'm a homer!)

  • If the champion is going to come from the Big Ten and it's not OSU, I'm going with Michigan State.



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