Monday, March 16, 2015

Sportz Assassin's Midwest Region Preview

TEAM TO BEAT: Kentucky. The Wildcats are 34-0 and the only teams that have even come close to beating them have done so because Kentucky has looked bored.  That shouldn't happen in the NCAA tournament.  

TEAM THAT WILL WIN THE REGION: Kentucky. It's hard to bet against a team that hasn't lost yet.  Kentucky could be challenged by Notre Dame, Maryland or Kansas, but they should breeze through this region.

TEAM TO WATCH FOR (LESS THAN A NO. 3 SEED): Maryland. The Terps aren't afraid of anyone.  Maryland has beaten Wisconsin, Iowa State and Michigan State ... twice.  They have big time scorers in both Melo Trimble and Dez Wells.  

YOUR CINDERELLA: Indiana. Hard to think of a program like Indiana as a Cinderella, but they are a #10 seed and have beaten some really good teams this year.  They beat Maryland, SMU, Butler and Ohio State.  The problem with the Hoosiers is that they haven't beaten anyone any good since late January.  

WORST SEEDING ERROR: Wichita State. This committee pretty much let it be known that they like those power conference schools.  Case in point, Wichita State getting a #7 seed.  Does no one respect the MVC?  I guess not.  The Shockers are ranked 12th in the AP poll and are 18th in the RPI.  

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: Kentucky. Honestly ... everyone seems to have a home court advantage in this region.  Kentucky will be playing in Louisville, Cleveland and Indianapolis if they go all the way.  Still, Cincinnati and Purdue also will be in nearby L'ville.  Kansas and Wichita State will be in Omaha.  Heck there are five Indiana teams in this region alone (zero made the tournament last year).

MUST WATCH GAME: West Virginia vs Buffalo. Bobby Hurley (yes, that Bobby Hurley) helms a Buffalo squad that could make a surprising run in this region.  West Virginia was just 2-7 against the RPI's Top 25.  This could be an upset.

MUST WATCH (POTENTIAL) SECOND ROUND GAME: Kansas vs Wichita State. Kansas won't schedule in state Wichita State so this will be huge for the Shocker faithful.  The game would be in nearly Omaha and should be rocking.  We could also get the same sort of feel for a possible Kentucky-Cincinnati game in Louisville.

See also:
South Region preview

East Region preview
West Region preview
Midwest Region preview

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