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Filling Out Your Bracket - Everything You Need To Know: Midwest Region

Posted on 16. Mar, 2010 by Justin Shulman in Tournaments, nba-draft


The NCAA tournament is upon us which means it's time to fill out your brackets and call in sick for Thursday/Friday. It's the best two days in sports. Getting together with the boys, dramatic buzzer beaters, Cinderella's, and Miller Light. It doesn't get any better. But before you finalize your bracket, let Flagrant Fouls fill you in on everything you need to know about each region.

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Everything You Need to Know: East Region

Everything You Need to Know: South Region

Everything You Need to Know:  West Region

When the brackets were first revealed early Sunday evening, it came as no surprise to any avid college basketball fan, that Kansas locked up the number one overall seed in the entire field.  The shocker is how tough their road to the Final Four appears to be in the Midwest Region.  The challengers include Ohio State, Georgetown, Maryland and Michigan State.  In Ohio State, this bracket will feature perhaps a pseudo #1 seed if not for Evan Turner's early season injury, and the one player who can singlehandedly win games on his own.  Georgetown enters as the three seed and features a PG/C tandem of Chris Wright and Greg Monroe.  Should they meet Kansas down the road they are the only team that can somewhat offset Kansas' biggest assets in Collins and Aldrich.  Gary Williams' squad is the fourth seed, and has his team playing inspired basketball finising the season 12-2 led by senior guard Greivis Vasquez.  And lets not discount the chances of last year's championship game finalist, the Spartans, who return the core of last season's final four nucleus. 

This bracket has perhaps the most experienced group of coaches in one bracket in the history of the NCAA tournament.  They have a combined 14 trips to the final four and Four NCAA Championships.  Bill Self (2007-2008) Kansas , Thad Matta (2006-2007) Ohio State, John Thompson III (2006-2007) Georgetown, Gary Williams (2001-2002) Maryland, Paul Hewitt (2003-2004) Georgia Tech, and Tom Izzo (1998-1999, 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2004-2005, 2008-2009) Michigan State, have all previously led their current teams to the Final Four.  Two other coaches in Steve Fisher (San Diego State) and Lon Kruger (UNLV) respectively coached previously led programs to the Final Four.  Fisher led the Fab Five to the championship game two consecutive seasons during 1991-1992, 1992-1993 seasons.  He also led the Wolverines to a championship in 1988-1989 as the Interim head coach taking over the team prior to the tournament.  Kruger led Florida to the 1993-1994 Final Four.


Best First Round Matchup

#10 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. #7 Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Yellow Jackets are going to push the ball and get up and down using their bigs to finish in transition.  The Cowboys are in turn going to run a spread offense, set ball screens and let thier guards create and score.  This game features three NBA first round draft selections in Derrick Favors, Gani Lawal and James Anderson.  Anderson has scored in double digits every single game this season and has eclipsed twenty points on twenty-two different occasions.  Georgia Tech will try to take advantage of a small Cowboys team and wear them down with their depth.  The Cowboys offer little size off the bench so if Favors and Lawal can create some foul trouble, Travis Ford is not going to have many options down his bench.  In a contrast of styles, look for the team that dictates their prefered style of play to come out on top.


Top NBA Draft Prospects

1. Evan Turner, Ohio State

2. Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech

3. Cole Aldrich, Kansas

4. Greg Monroe, Georgetown

5. Xavier Henry, Kansas

6. James Anderson, Oklahoma State

7. Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech

8. Sherron Collins, Kansas

9. Iman Shumpert, Georgia Tech

10. Kalin Lucas, Michigan State


Best Player You've Never Heard Of

Armon Bassett, Ohio


For those that didn't catch the MAC tournament this past weekend, Bassett averaged 30.3ppg and played virtually every minute, willing his team to the conference tournament title.  Bassett is a junior guard that has the ability to put his team on his back.  With guard play being imperative for tournament success, Ohio has a chance with the ball in Bassett's hands.  A battle with Georgetown's Chris Wright looms, and both players enter the matchup playing their best basketball of the season.  Ohio may not have the horses to pull the upset but you Armon will definately get your attention along the way.


Potential Cinderella

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Not sure you want to call this team a cinderella but they are sitting on a #10 seeding.  Georgia Tech is starting to roll making it to the final game of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and coming within one possession of beating Duke for an automatic bid.  The Yellow Jackets already have wins this season against the likes of Siena, Clemson, Maryland, Wake Forest, and even #1 Duke, all teams in this years tournament field.  Their freshman sensation Derrick Favors seems to have finally shed the freshman label, having gone eight consecutive games in double digit scoring figures and staying out of foul trouble.  Combining Favors' impressive play with frontcourt mate Gani Lawal and Oklahoma is going to have to contend with two NBA power forwards.  Being that the Cowboys only use two players in their rotation taller than 6-7 and nobody above 6-8, I like the Georgia Tech frontcourt to overpower and carry the Yellow Jackets to an upset.  A potential matchup against Ohio State would be waiting whereby the Buckeyes almost employ a four guard offense.  Georgia Tech has to be thrilled with their draw in that they won't see a player who can physically matchup with Favors and Lawal until a potential date with Georgetown.  If the Yellow Jackets can get some consistent guard play from Shumpert, than I see no reason why Georgia Tech can't give Ohio State the fight of their life in the round of 32.


Best Potential Head to Head Battle 

Greivis Vasquez vs. Kalin Lucas

This potential second round matchup features two hall of fame coaches with championship pedigrees and two floor generals that know how to win.  Vasquez is a senior that has been at Maryland in what seems since the Dinosaur era.  He is the only player in ACC history to record 2000 points, 700 assists, and six hundred rebounds.  Vasquez has hit game winning shots and is one of a handful of players that can carry his team on his shoulders alone.  To do that and have the swan song Greivis deserves, the terps will have to get by last year's tournament finalists.  The Spartans have to be the most feared #5 seed in this tournament.  They have been to the Final Four three times in this decade and evey player in their current rotation played a part in last year's tournament success.  State was a top ten team for a stretch of the season and their success is based on the play of Kalin Lucas.  In his first two NCAA tournaments, Lucas has taken his team to the sweet sixteen and the championship game.  Both of these players are faces that the nation has become synonomous with when thinking about college basketball.  Unfortunately, only one of them will be around for the second weekend of the madness.


Elite 8 Prediction 

Kansas vs. Ohio State  

Kansas has been given what many analysts are calling the toughest road given to a #1 seed.  A tough sweet sixteen matchup could loom against either the team that bounced them last year in Michigan State or the Maryland Terrapins.  Both teams have veteran guard play and championship calibre coaching.  Kansas will have their hands full regardless of the opponent but they are by far the more superior team on thier side of the bracket.  Ohio State has a much tougher run in that they will have to shield off the winner of Georgia Tech versus Oklahoma State.  Georgia Tech has the size to slow State down and the Cowboys have a premier scorer in James Anderson, who has the skillset to go heads up wth Turner.  In the end, the Buckeyes will prevail and square off against Georgetown, in what I expect to be one of the tournament's best matchups.  Georgetown has all the ingredients to beat Ohio State, except they are somewhat thin off the bench.  I expect fatigue to play a factor in the outcome, as the Hoyas have continuously been playing six players in their rotation, while coming off four games in four days at the Big East Tournament.


Final Four Prediction

Kansas Jayhawks

The Jayhawks were the preseason choice to win the championship and have given no reason at this point to believe they won't be able to follow through.  Collins and Aldrich are the country's best inside outside duo and the team doesn't have to rely on either of their scoring efforts to win ballgames.  The Morris  twins, Xavier Henry, Brady Morningstar, and Ty Taylor all contribute.  Ohio State will have to grind through a tougher path to meet the Jayhawks and Evan Turner will have to be at his best for about his hundredth consecutive game.  The Jayhawks have too many weapons, too much size, too much depth and they have been here before with their current nucleus.  Ohio State will have to beat them from the perimeter and Kansas has excellent perimeter defenders and a host of bigs that can clean the glass.  In a matchup that would feature plenty of star power, Evan Turner's magical season will come to an end.


Midwest Region MOP 

Sherron Collins, Kansas Jayhawks


At the end of the day, no player is going to be the face of this bracket more so than Sherron Collins and Evan Turner.  Collins is one of a handful of players that has actually led his team to the final four in the past and has been nominated for both the Naismith and the Bob Cousy awards this season.  The Jayhawks have a lot of talented players but expect Collins to have the ball in his hands and deliver the way big time players are suppose to deliver in big time games. 








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2 Responses to “Filling Out Your Bracket - Everything You Need To Know: Midwest Region”

  1. Everything You Need to Know: South Region | Flagrant Fouls 17. Mar, 2010

    [...] Everything You Need to Know: Midwest Region [...]

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  2. Filling Out Your Bracket - Everything You Need to Know: East Region | Flagrant Fouls 16. Mar, 2010

    [...]  Filling Out Your Bracket - Everything You Need to Know: Midwest Region [...]

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