Bracket Series pt. 1 (Midwest Region)

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Bracket Series 1- Midwest Region

by Dwayne D.

The Brackets are out and in full swing. Today was Selection Sunday, and the field of 65 is here.

We will break down the matchups by region starting for the next four days. We will begin with the Midwest Region.

1. Louisville vs. 16. Alabama State/16. Morehead State

The Cardinals won the tough Big East regular season and conference tournaments. They also received the #1 overall seed. Louisville is balanced, led by Earl Clark, Sanardo Samuels, and Terrence Williams. The sleeper player on this team is Edgar Sosa, who has seen his production go down, but he can go off at any time. This team is deep, and whoever wins between the SWAC Champion Hornets, and the Ohio Valley Champion Eagles… good luck trying to stay in the game.

8. Ohio State vs. 9. Siena

Ohio State was a bubble team all season, and they ended up being on the right side after a good run in the Big Ten tournament, losing to Purdue in the Championship. I give them credit, they played well without David Lighty, and Evan Turner has been the key, along with strong play from Dallas Lauderdale and B.J. Mullens. Siena is an experienced team, who has played the big boys and can run with them. I am picking Siena with the upset over the Buckeyes. Don’t sleep on the Saints.

5. Utah vs. 12 Arizona

– The biggest question is… did U of A deserve to be in the Tournament? My answer at the end of the day: They did. They beat Gonzaga, Kansas, UCLA, Washington, and USC, who are all tourney bound. Did they have a bad road record, yes, but the quality of wins is enough to sway the committee, and I got swayed as well. Utah is a tough, rugged team from the Mountain West, just by beating San Diego State, they knocked the Aztecs right off the bubble. At the end of the day, I’m going to say that Arizona will upset Utah and move on to the second round

4. Wake Forest vs. 13. Cleveland State

– This is a major upset alert. Cleveland State is a very tough team. They play defense, they are scrappy, they are experienced. The close calls against Butler before beating them in the Horizon Championship at Butler’s home court, the famed Hinkel Fieldhouse. I like Cedric Jackson and J’Nathan Bullock to set the tone, and really get physical with Jeff Teague and James Johnson. I’m seeing a 12 vs 13 matchup in the second round.

Now to the bottom half of the bracket

6. West Virginia vs. 11. Dayton

– This will be a toss up… Dayton has been under the radar all season long.  The Flyers play a very deep rotation, with nobody playing more than 30 minutes per game. The Mountaineers have Alex Ruoff, Da’Sean Butler, and Devin Ebanks. Bob Huggins experience in the tournament coaching I think, will propel the Mountaineers over the Flyers and into the second round.

3. Kansas vs. 14. North Dakota State

– The defending National Champions, who many thought would not even be a #3 seed, won the Big 12, but got surprising ousted out of the Tournament. I’m gonna say this. If Bill Self’s bunch has that same kind of play against Baylor, expect a Bison Bummer II (Bucknell Bison beat them in 2005). North Dakota State made the dance in their first official year in D-I, and they are good. Ben Woodside is the heart and soul of this team, they have played together for a long time, as most of the seniors red-shirted just to have this opportunity. I think KU learned from the Baylor loss and will turn their frustrations to avoid a 2nd Bison Bummer.

7. Boston College vs 10. USC

– USC is peaking at the right time… Demar Derozan is playing out of his mind and Daniel Hackett and Taj Gibson are forces to be reckoned with. The Trojans won the Pac-10 Tournament and went from Bubble to Automatic bid. Boston College has heart, and the pulse of this team runs through Tyrese Rice. If I’m USC, I would watch him. He has the capability to take over a game and drop 50 when his team needs him the most. Do not sleep on BC either. This game will depend on if BC gets TOO dependent on Rice, if they have someone else step up, I expect a BC win. if not, USC is coasting on.

2. Michigan State vs. 15. Robert Morris

– Michigan State had a chance to play for the #1 seed, but they ended up choking in the Big Ten Tournament, and had to settle for #2. This team is complete though. Kalin Lucas and Raymar Morgan are the dynamic duo of the squad, and then Durrell Summers is the Highlight reel for this team. He can make some momentum-boosting and ego-crushing dunks. Robert Morris is making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1992. I wish them the best of luck, but Tom Izzo will have his team ready.

Stay Tuned tomorrow for part 2 of the Bracket Series, as we break down the West Region Matchups.

D

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  1. Well I am not bracketologist, but I am going to Michael Eaton’s University of College Basketball for grad school. So here my awful 2 cents.

    1. Louisville vs. 16. Alabama State/16. Morehead State
    Well, I try to not look at the numbers, but Louisville played strong this season, and I mean hey, Im sure ‘Bama state and Morehead are good, but Louisville is pretty good.

    8. Ohio State vs. 9. Siena

    Shoot, I hate the 8/9 picks…they make me so angry. I saw them playing agains Purdue, and reading about Siena, I am with you, dont sleep on them, Ohio might have an upset, however, if it is not here, it will be in the 2nd round playing [Louisville I believe?]

    5. Utah vs. 12 Arizona

    I wont say whether AZ deserves to be in the tournament or not, however, the road losses concerns me. Only thinking from my nerd standpoint, if home is where they get their wins, then that Is kinda tough right there…I am still in the air however, because I mean Utah did play well this season (from what I have been told)…

    4. Wake Forest vs. 13. Cleveland State

    – This is a major upset alert. – Okay, I have 3 ACC Teams that I will support(SUPPORT NOT CHEER OR BUY FAN GEAR FOR) besides Duke, that is UNC, Wake and well toss up between FSU and NC State. But, I am concerned. Wake has a GREAT 1st half of the season, pulverizing people, but, as of late, they havent been the same….my heart wants to go with Wake, but my mind is telling me Cleveland State.

    Now to the bottom half of the bracket

    6. West Virginia vs. 11. Dayton

    I will have to go with you Dunham on this one, Wv all the way, I mean they did upset #1 seed Pitt, but did lose in OT to Syracuse. I think the combo of the loss and the upset of Pitt might be the catalyst for WV to make it over Dayton.

    3. Kansas vs. 14. North Dakota State

    Sorry, but Kansas is the Shit… Kansas gonna win this one…point blank. ND State, they are new to this NCAA tournament thing, but KS got the edge.

    7. Boston College vs 10. USC

    BC is tough, BC isnt playing this year…( well playing in the context like Joking). USC did a good job winning the Pac 10, but i think BC is pumped, Sorry USC, I see BC edging ahead on this one.

    2. Michigan State vs. 15. Robert Morris
    They might have lost in the Semi-finals, but now they are pumped if you asked me, Sorry Robert Morris, MSU will have the edge in this one…

    Well thats my awful 2 cents. lol

  2. Excellent work, Dwayne. I enjoyed reading your solid breakdowns.

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