Sunday, March 14, 2010

March Madness Preview: Midwest Region

Today was selection Sunday and that means that the brackets are officially set for March Madness which begins Wednesday night with the play in game. I am pumped for the tournament to start and love the fact that every team seems vulnerable.

Kansas is the #1 overall seed and is the #1 seed in the Midwest bracket which is where I will begin my preview. While they were given the #1 overall seed they were not given an easy path to the Final Four as they will have to get through Michigan State, Maryland, Georgetown and Ohio State. If Kansas can get through that minefield then they should be one of two things by the Finals. They will either be 1) battle tested and ready to go or 2) exhausted from playing consecutive tough games.

This is the toughest bracket by far. It features my favorite team and 3 of the teams I had picked to make it to the Final Four. Here are my sleepers, potential upsets, players to watch and prediction for who will make it out alive.

Sleeper - Tennessee

Hard to pick a sleeper in this bracket but if there is one then it has to be the Volunteers. During the season they beat Kansas and Kentucky and also had wins over Mississippi State and Ole Miss. They have an experienced team and a coach in Bruce Pearl that has been to the Sweet Sixteen twice in the past 3 years.

If Tennessee wants to advance deep into the tournament they are going to need Wayne Chism to prove himself. He has been inconsistent at times this season and has shown a tendency to lose his temper. If he can keep his emotions in check the Volunteers have the potential to make some noise and bust some brackets.

Potential Upset - 10 Georgia Tech over 7 Oklahoma State

Now I know picking a 10 over a 7 isn't a huge upset but in this bracket its as big of an upset as we are likely to see. Georgia Tech is a solid team as proven by their run in the ACC tournament and has wins this season over Duke and and Maryland.

They are led by junior Forward Gani Lawal who averages 13.3 ppg and 8.8 rbg. If Georgia Tech can get by Oklahoma State then they provide a tough match up problem for Ohio State.

Player to Watch - Evan "the Villain" Turner for Ohio State

Turner missed 6 games this season due to a fractured back but since returning has been destroying teams and filling up the box scores. He averages 19.7 ppg 9.2 rpg and 5.9 apg and is a constant threat to go for a triple double. His length gives him a great advantage on defense as he fills passing lanes and con block and alter shots making it difficult for shooters.

His biggest advantage is that he can play any position on the floor. he is 6'7 but plays more like 6'10 allowing him to play center. He has a sweet handle and great speed/vision which allows him to play the point and run the offense.

I think he should be the Player of the Year instead of John Wall due to his supporting cast, which while decent is nowhere near the caliber of Wall's. Turner is a for sure top 5 pick in the NBA draft and a real fun player to watch. Hopefully he can lead OSU to a few victories and maybe even a Final Four birth to show the nation his true potential.

Bracket Winner - Kansas

Hard to pick against a team that never dropped below #3 in the polls and went 32-2 during the regular season including 15-1 in conference play. They were 5th in the NCAA in scoring averaging 81.8 point per game and play solid defense.

They have one of the most talented rosters in the game and have two top 10 draft picks in Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich as well as some great complimentary players like Xavier Henry and Tyrel Reed who is a major threat from outside.

This season they beat both Kansas State and Texas multiple times and beat 10 teams that are in the tournament including #3 Baylor and #5 Temple. They played in one of the toughest conferences in the NCAA and at times made it look easy.

Their two losses on the season were to Tennessee and Oklahoma State (both of which are in their bracket) and were on the road. Of all the teams in college basketball this year they have looked the most dominant.

My Dad is in a pool at work where each person gets to pick 4 teams to win it all. There are 2 rules. 1) Everyone has to have their picks in by Monday with their money and 2) you can't pick Kansas.

Random YouTube Video

1 comment:

LDUTheCoach said...

Who does everyone have this year to win it all????
With so many changes of the #1 team in the nation ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHING is possible
Let this madness begin!!

Found this bracket with predictions.. looks like itll be pretty actuate!! Checker' out at:
Best of luck to all betting this year!! Money is a guarantee!!