NCAA Tournament: Midwest Region preview and predictions

Brunilde Fioravanti
Marzo 21, 2017

During his time at Kansas, Self has landed the Rivals.com No. 1 player three times. The Drake-Kansas State game tips off at 3 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2. I do think, though, traditionally, the teams that come out of nowhere to win the conference tournaments don't fare too well in the NCAA Tournament. He's also played fewer than 36 minutes in a game only twice since late January.

In Tulsa, Baylor and New Mexico State kick things off Friday at 11:40 a.m. SMU and either Providence or USC will follow.

No week of basketball offers the same level of drama, excitement and sheer number of games than the first week of the NCAA tournament. The Middle Tennessee State (game against Minnesota) is the one. Evans, who averaged 19 points with 6.2 assists on the season, became an school legend by scoring 16 consecutive points in a massive win over arch-rival Oklahoma. No. 2 seed Louisville Jacksonville State has won and covered in four straight, including two outright upsets, heading into the tournament.

The Associated Press reported second-ranked Notre Dame (30-3) has the top seed in the Lexington Regional with three defeats, the most losses it's had entering the NCAA Tournament since starting the run of top seeds with three losses during the 2011-12 season. That streak is the longest active streak in the country (and also the longest in NCAA history) and speaks to the incredible success and consistency enjoyed by head coaches Roy Williams and Bill Self during that time.

OR almost paired its Pac-12 regular season championship with a tournament title but stumbled 83-80 to Arizona as 2-point favorites in the final.

In the ACC tournament the Duke Blue Devils won it all with what Coach K called "uncommon winning".

The 6-8 freshman forward has had some minor brushes with the law this season, but that hasn't affected his game. Now, it is time for the Wildcats to just play basketball. That victor likely plays second-seeded Mississippi State. Just how good is Purdue coming out of a mediocre Big Ten?

The Cyclones will face the Mountain West champions Thursday in Milwaukee.

Check out the five teams that can win the Midwest in this year's March Madness.

"I do think we'll see a 16 beat a 1, but I certainly hope it's not this year", he said. That second number is a little troubling; in the last four seasons, Kansas finished fifth, 22, 10 and third in defensive efficiency.

If there's a team seeded lower than No. 3 in the region that could make a run to the Final Four, it's the No. 5 Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa State fans travel really well.

Michigan State G Miles Bridges: This might be the weakest Spartans' team in years, but Bridges is worth the price of admission. MI is another team that could be primed to lose in the first round after its draining week en route to a remarkable Big Ten tournament title. The sophomore power forward has a chance to dominate in the tournament after recording 25 double-doubles this season and averaging 18.7 points and 12.6 rebounds. Third-seeded OR or sixth-seeded Creighton could be waiting in the Sweet 16. If so, Oklahoma State can pull off the upset.

Derek Klaus with the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Bureau projects the NCAA Midwest Regionals will generate $10M in local revenue, and potentially more if KU and ISU are included in the four teams that will play downtown.

Kansas' path to the Final Four, as expected, is a short one.

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