March Madness 2012: Midwest Region

Written March 13th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye
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 As you do the research necessary to win this year’s BBN Bracket Challenge, we here at tBBC are previewing each region to give you just a bit of info on teams not named “Ohio State”. Here’s a gander at Bob Seger’s favorite part of the bracket.

Favorites: You can’t spell “Midwest” without “Meh”- While North Carolina is the top seed, you’ll have to drill all the way down to the #7 slot before you find a team that won it’s conference tournament, and that was an OT victory for St. Mary’s in the WCC final.  Sure, Carolina won the ACC, but they couldn’t solve FSU more than once this season, and KU ended up behind Mizzou in what’s left of the Big Integer. There’s really no one who stands out, but there’s no one that looks to be mis-placed, either… You’ve got to think that Roy Williams will have his team ready for the long haul and intensity that is March Madness. Based on their mix of experience and youth, I’m going to go with the Tarheels as the obvious favorite in the region.

The Show- SDSU's Fanbase

Cinderellas: I’m not sure that they can be a “Cinderella” with a 26-7 record, but this year’s Aztec team from SDSU may be a team to keep an eye on. They’ll be playing in Columbus, so it may feel like home for many San Diegans; in addition, their first real matchup will come against a Georgetown team that plays amazing defense but has suffered from some offensive lapses on occasion. That’s assuming, of course, that the Hoyas manage to get past a Belmont team that’s won fourteen straight and is certainly peaking at the right time.

An interesting team to watch, in spite of my earlier Carolina comments, would be Pat Knight’s Lamar squad- they’ve ripped off six straight wins after being called out by their coach. I also love Purdue, if only because they represent the B1G with a class act senior leader (more later).

Most Likely To Be Upset: Please be Michigan, please be Michigan, please be Michigan, please be Michigan, please be Michigan, please be Michigan, please be Michigan, please be Michigan, please be Michigan, please be Michigan, please be Michigan.

Ok, now that that’s out of my system, I think Kansas might be vulnerable to an upset by the winner of the Purdue/St. Mary’s first round game. Even though they defeated the Buckeyes earlier in the year, I haven’t been overwhelmed by the level of play that the Jayhawks have accomplished this season. But I’m also not much of a basketball guy and am boycotting ESPN, so what do I know.

Last Hurrah

Players to Watch: It’s no secret that we love us some Robbie Hummel here at tBBC- it would be great to see his career as a Boilermaker end with a deep run into the tournament, especially since he’d be doing so with a team that was less prepared than the 2010-11 squad. If we had to also pick someone that would carry their team, Columbus native Trey Burke will be the reason that his team has the ability to make a run; if he goes cold, they’re in trouble. For the life of me, though, I can’t remember who it is he’s currently playing for.

Unheralded Player: If you aren’t already familiar with Four McGlynn, well… welcome to the rest of the world. A non-starter at Vermont, he was selected as the America East freshman of the year and winner of the “Hey, my jersey number has a lot of meaning” contest.

St. Mary’s hopes may also rest on the knee of Stephen Holt- a key cog in the Gael defense that missed the WCC tournament with a sprain… hopefully he’ll be well enough to be involved.

We can also say “Howdy hey” to Walter Offutt, former Buckeye who hopefully will channel his scarlet and gray against the Wolverines.

Team From Obscurity: Since nothing good comes from Detroit (looking your way, Dickie V), I’m not sure that they’re a real team. I do have friends that work at Belmont, though, and know that they are proud of both their Bruins, their connection to the Nashville music scene, and of course Miss Minnie.

Elite 8 Picks: Just for the sake of nostalgia, Kansas and UNC would be a great chance to hear all the lazy commentators revisit the “Roy Williams broke our hearts and left us for another woman” stories that surface every time these two vaunted programs meet. And, they’d meet in St. Louis, which would not only be essentially a home game for the Jayhawks, but would also surely lead to yet another round of “St. Louis -vs- Kansas City Style” ribs battle.

If not Kansas, I see SDSU facing the Tar Heels for the right to go to New Orleans.

4 Comments

  1. WVaBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    March 13th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    The team I would like to see move on as much as OHIO is Creighton. A nice ball club and def potential to spring an upset over UNC

    [Reply]

  2. JimNo Gravatar
    March 13th, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Michigan is by far the weakest #4 seed in the entire tournament. Their offense is based on constantly chucking up 3s.

    If they go cold from the perimeter anyone in the field can take them down. Hopefully the Bobcats can pull it off right away.

    [Reply]

    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    March 13th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Hang on… Michigan’s offense is based on chucking up things and hoping for the best?

    Sounds vaguely familiar somehow.

    [Reply]

    KenNo Gravatar
    March 14th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    It’s the ‘Michigan Way’, Mali. It applies to football, basketball and partying.

    Go Bobcats!

    [Reply]

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