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Bracket Breakdown – Midwest

With the seeding for March Madness just announced, we here at PSF have decided to do our due diligence and break down each segment of the bracket for you down to a science for you, highlighting some of the key matchups and teams you should expect to make moves. Without further ado, here we are.

Favorite: #1 Kansas

The favorite absolutely, positively has to be Kansas. While we are surprised Kansas landed as a the 1 seed in the Midwest, it’s very well deserves. Kansas defeated #7 Kentucky, #18 Texas Tech, #17 TCU, and a WVU team three times, ranked #6, #20, and #18 all at times of their victories. Lead by Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, this Kansas team has firepower. Five players scoring 12 points per game or more can end up dangerous in the tournament and I feel as if Kansas has the best shot to win their bracket.

Under-seeded Team: #9 NC State

NC State defeated #2 Arizona, #2 Duke, #10 North Carolina, #19 Clemson, #25 FSU and landed a 9 seed. In one of the toughest, if not the toughest conferences in college basketball, NC State beat three of the top four teams. They got a NINE seed. NC State’s pedigree is tremendous, lead by Omer Yurtseven who could very well terrorize teams who can’t hang with a big like him, measuring in at a LARGE 7’0″ 245 pounds. The Wolfpack get Seton Hall in the round of 64, which should turn out to be a tremendous matchup.

Over-seeded Team: #6 TCU

TCU’s 2-7 record against ranked teams doesn’t make them worth a 6 seed, frankly, I’m surprised they even got a top 8 seed at that. TCU’s schedule was front loaded with gimme-wins, making them look better than the mediocrity they actually are. 9-9 conference record in a pretty top-heavy conference doesn’t do their case much justice, and I feel as if they’ll be on upset watch as soon as they get going.

Upset Alert: #2 Duke

I could’ve put TCU again, but that would’ve simply been too easy. Duke has unranked losses, including losses to Virginia Tech, NC State, Boston College, and St. John’s, and Duke’s had some first round losses recently, losing to Mercer in 2014 and Lehigh in 2012. Duke lost in the second round to a mediocre South Carolina team last year, so we’ll put Duke on upset alert and see if they can stumble past Iona.

Cinderella: #12 New Mexico State

28-5 New Mexico State can make some noise, lead by their stars Zach Lofton and Jemerrio Jones. Lofton’s one of the premier scorers in the tournament and as a senior will be looking to make magic, using his experience to the best of his ability. Jemerrio Jones ranked second in the country rebounding the ball and that’s as a 6’5, 200 pound forward. This team can make moves and beat Clemson and maybe put together a Cinderella season.

Best Player: Marvin Bagley, Duke

Marvin Bagley’s one of the top players in the country right now, so he’ll definitely fall in line as one of the premier players in the tournament and the best in the Midwest. Bagley’s projected to go top 3 in the NBA Draft and for good reason. With 21.1 points per game, 11.5 rebounds per game, and a .605 FG%, he’s likely going to be one of the main reasons Duke gets far if they do get past upset watch against teams like Iona, Oklahoma, and URI. Bagley’s a star.

Best Coach: Mike Krzyzewski, Duke

Coach K is a great coach, one of the best ever to do it, so he gets the nod as best coach. Bill Self was a close second, but Coach K’s ability to coach anyone and constantly have competitive teams even when other major programs fall off is tremendous.

Expert Pick: Kansas

Kansas is capable of winning the entire tournament. Simple as that. This tam is extremely efficient scoring, spreads the ball around, and is extremely well coached. If anyone’s got odds to win this bracket, it’s Kansas.

 

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