Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sportz' Midwest Region Preview

TEAM TO BEAT: Louisville. The Cardinals are playing their best basketball right now. They are talented, deep and well coached. Terrence Williams has been unstoppable of late and could vault his team back to the Final Four.

TEAM THAT WILL WIN THE REGION: Louisville. To be honest, I only see a couple teams that the Cardinals could lose to (more on that later). The thing is, I don't see them losing.

TEAM TO WATCH FOR (LESS THAN No. 3 SEED): Wake Forest. This is the one team I can see giving the Cardinals a lot of trouble. They are very talented, very deep and very athletic. They have the guard-play that can help to handle the Louisville pressure. The problem is that Wake has been erratic of late and has lost some of their early season swagger.

YOUR CINDERELLA: Arizona. I know, I know. It isn't very sexy to pick a Pac-10 team that has been to the tournament every year for the last couple decades as your Cinderella. But Arizona has a few things going for them. Despite barely making it in the tournament, no one questions that they have some talented guys on this team. They also got a favorable matchup against Utah. Finally, they have this huge chip on their shoulder. If they get past Utah ... well, I just told you about Wake Forest.

WORST SEEDING ERROR: Ohio State. Sorry. but I don't understand how the Buckeyes are a No. 8 seed and Siena is a No. 9. Big whoop, I know, but Siena also has to play Ohio State in Dayton, Ohio. Not cool!

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: Louisville. The Cardinals will play their first two games in Dayton and their next two games up the road in Indianapolis. If they get to the Final Four, Detroit isn't a big drive away.

MUST WATCH GAME: Utah vs Arizona. This may not be the best game to actually watch (Boston College-USC may be that game). But this will take a middle-of-the-road team from the Pac-10 against a champion from the Mountain West. This will either validate the selection committee's acceptance of Arizona or the Mountain West's claim that it should be a respected high-major.

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