ESPN's Jay Bilas predicts 2nd-round exit for North Carolina
ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas is projecting North Carolina to reach the Round of 32 before falling to Baylor, he wrote in a column on Monday.
Bilas picked every NCAA Tournament game in a piece for ESPN. He has the Tar Heels getting past Marquette, but said “defense” would be the difference in their game vs. Baylor.
Here’s an excerpt of Bilas’ thoughts:
“The Bears will have to deal with Bacot, but Baylor has the chops to beat the Tar Heels. Defense will be the difference. If LJ Cryer plays, Baylor wins. If he doesn’t, the Heels can reach the Sweet 16.”
Cryer’s status will be something to track this week. He’s a key piece for Baylor and didn’t play for the Bears in the Big 12 Tournament. Baylor ended up losing to Oklahoma in the quarterfinal round — and his absence was certainly noticeable.
Cryer is averaging 13.5 points per game on 47.6 percent shooting.
As for Marquette, UNC is 4-2 all-time against the Golden Eagles. Tipoff in that game is at 4:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.