>> Monday, March 15, 2010
The Midwest Bracket is one of the deepest brackets that we have seen in recent memory, and the committee did not serve Kansas a silver platter, especially as the #1 overall seed. While the upper-half of the bracket appears to be favorable for the Jayhawks, once they reach the sweet sixteen they, could run into some trouble, but thats for another day. Let's take a look at each game on tap for the Midwest Bracket.
1. Kansas vs. 16. Leigh
Kansas rolls and by a hefty margin. No need to even waste our breath on this opening round game.
8. UNLV vs. 9. Northern Iowa
Its the Mountain West versus the Missouri Valley in your typical 8-9 matchup. Neither team solidifies itself as an early favorite on paper, but will it translate to the floor? Northern Iowa and MVC teams are always trendy picks to be the opening weekend upset special. However, this isn't the usual MVC, and the lack of athleticism for Panthers will be their undoing. UNLV moves on to face the Jayhawks.
5. Michigan State vs. 12. New Mexico State
If there is one thing you can guarantee about Tom Izzo and his Spartans, they bring it in March. New Mexico State wasn't even an afterthought when it came to tournament possibilities, but their surprising run through the WAC tournament burst one teams bubble along the way. I wouldn't recommend this as your trendy "12-5" upset, though. Izzo doesn't lose early.
4. Maryland vs. 13. Houston
The Cougars were another bubble burster with their magnificent run through the CUSA tournament. They're streaking at the right time, and Maryland is a team that offers a plausible upset victim. Gary Williams lead the resurgent Terrapins to a CO-ACC crown, but I have a feeling this will be a close game. I'll still go with the chalk, by a slim margin.
6. Tennessee vs. 11. San Diego State
The Volunteers may be one of the most under-seeded teams in this tournament. They're much better than the six seed that was slapped on them. They'll be facing Steve Fisher (Yeah, that Steve from the Fab Five Days) and the Aztecs of SDSU. SDSU made a strong run through the MWC tournament and are a solid team, but they don't have the fire power to hang with the Volunteers.
3. Georgetown vs. 14. Ohio
Georgetown is playing some of its best ball at the right time, after a strong run through the big east tournament, and should have an easy go against the Bobcats from Athens. Take the chalk.
7. Oklahoma State vs. 10. Georgia Tech
Oklahoma State will have the best player on the floor, James Anderson, and he has the ability to carry this team to a Sweet 16. Georgia Tech has some talent, but Paul Hewitt is still roaming those sidelines and coaching means something. Oklahoma State with the victory.
2. Ohio State vs. 15. Cal-Santa Barbara
Two words: Evan Turner. The likely NPOY will lead the Buckeyes to an easy victory in the opening round. However, round two may be a different story.
More to come