Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

NCAAB

Bracket breakdown: Midwest Region

Bracket breakdown: Midwest Region

This might be the most open of the four regions. The top two seeds can each win a national title or be gone in the second round. The hottest team is fifth-seeded Iowa, which won four games in four days to capture the Big Ten Conference tournament title.

The most popular upset pick in any bracket could very well be the 4-13 matchup with Providence, coming off a blowout loss to Creighton in the Big East semifinals, and South Dakota State. USC didn’t play that well over the last month, but it has the athletic skill to make a run as the seventh seed.

As for star power, try out Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji, Auburn freshman Jabari Smith and Iowa scoring machine Keegan Murray.

TOP SHOT

Kansas earned the #1 seed with another consistent season, riding National Player of the Year candidate Ochai Agbaji to a share of the Big 12 regular-season title and then to the conference tournament title. Agbaji averaged 19.7 points per game and hit 47.7 percent of his shots from the floor, playing like a senior should. The Jayhawks are a top 100 team in nearly every major category except turnovers and free throws.

Second-seeded Auburn wins its games with defense and rebounding, leading the nation in blocked shots (254) thanks to North Carolina transfer Walker Kessler and ranking in the top 20 in boards (1,277). The Tigers score well but aren’t a great shooting team, which might be a concern in a potential second-round clash against long, athletic USC.

GAMES TO WATCH

4 Providence vs. 13 South Dakota State. That the Friars are just a 2.5-point favorite in a 4-13 matchup illustrates there isn’t a ton of faith in the Big East regular-season champions. That might have something to do with the Jackrabbits winning 30 games and leading Division I in 3-point shooting at 44.9 percent.

6 LSU vs. 11 Iowa State. Which Tigers team will we see in the tournament — the one that started 12-0 and rose into the top 10 or the one that finished 10-11 and is now dealing with a coaching change? For that matter, the Cyclones’ season was on that same plane, minus the coaching change just before the tournament.

GET TO KNOW

Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis burst into stardom this season, averaging 19.7 points and 8.2 rebounds to boost the Badgers to a #3 seed and a first-round matchup in nearby Milwaukee with Patriot League champ Colgate.

San Diego State senior Matt Bradley transferred from California and became the Aztecs’ leading scorer, providing 17 points per game and hitting 41.6 percent of his 3-pointers. If he gets hot, this excellent defensive team might give Kansas a tough time in the second round.

SPREAD THE NEWS

San Diego State (-1.5) and Creighton are your 8-9 matchup in Fort Worth, Tex., but your focus should be the over-under. Specifically, taking the under and running to the bank to claim your winnings. The Aztecs are dominant defensively and poor offensively. Rock fights — and winning them — are their specialty.

Wisconsin (-7.5) doesn’t screw up first-round games as a general rule, but Colgate and the points might be a worthwhile bet. The Raiders are top 10 nationally in 3-point percentage (40.3) and assists (17.2). If they find the range from deep, this will be a game at the end.

OUT OF THE MIDWEST

Fran McCaffery’s Iowa teams haven’t been famed for their NCAA tourney success, but this one comes in covering in all the right ways. With a dominant scorer and underrated supporting cast, take the Hawkeyes over Wisconsin to earn a trip to New Orleans.

 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

PlayAction Podcast

SGPN | The Propcast | Week 4 NFL Player Props

NFL

Munaf Manji (@SportsNerd824) & Rod Villagomez (@rjvillagomez) of @TheSGPNetwork offer 5 player props each for Week 4.

SGPN | NFL Week 4 Afternoon Games & SNF Betting Preview
SGPN | NFL Week 4 Afternoon Games & SNF Betting Preview

NFL

The @SGPNNFL Pod covers the Week 4 late games as @SportsNerd824 & @ReichelRadio break down all four, including Tampa Bay & Kansas City.

SGPN | NFL Week 4 Picks
SGPN | NFL Week 4 Picks

NFL

The @GamblingPodcast guys pick every week 4 NFL game against the spread, including two locks, a ML dog and a three-team teaser

JetNation | Zach to Return vs Steelers
JetNation | Zach to Return vs Steelers

NFL

This week, @JetNation hosts Dylan Tereman & Glenn Naughton break down the Bengals loss, the return of QB Zach Wilson & the Steelers game.

SGPN | Diehard Eagles | Jaguars-Eagles Predictions
SGPN | Diehard Eagles | Jaguars-Eagles Predictions

NFL

The @DiehardEagles52 guys talk Philly's win over Wentz & WAS, Hurts' domination, rising expectations, 2nd half struggles,& picks vs JAX

Inside Pack Sports Live | NC State-Clemson Preview
Inside Pack Sports Live | NC State-Clemson Preview

NCAAF

The @InsidePackSport staff looks at tonight's NC State-Clemson showdown, matchups on both sides of the ball, key players & much more!

Buckeye Huddle | Is Michigan Football On Upset Alert & More
Buckeye Huddle | Is Michigan Football On Upset Alert & More

NCAAF

Tony Gerdeman of @BuckeyeHuddle joins host Tom Orr to break down Michigan-Iowa and the rest of this week’s biggest college football games.

SGPN | College Football Experience | Navy-Air Force Preview
SGPN | College Football Experience | Navy-Air Force Preview

NCAAF

SGPN's @TCEonSGPN previews Navy & Air Force. @TheColbyD is joined by AFA specialist @Falcon8fan of @HistoryFalcon to break it down.

SGPN | College Football Experience | Washington-UCLA Preview
SGPN | College Football Experience | Washington-UCLA Preview

NCAAF

SGPN's @TCEonSGPN previews Friday's Washington-UCLA game. @TheColbyD & @Scott_Bowser discuss whether Chip Kelly and UCLA will move to 5-0.