NCAA Tournament 2014: Midwest Region Predictions

NCAA Tournament: Predicting the Midwest Region

3/18/14 in NCAABB   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

Mar 15, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino poses with his team and trophy after the game against the Connecticut Huskies in final of the American Athletic Conference college basketball tournament at FedEx Forum. Louisville defeated Connecticut 71-61. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY SportsWe wrap up our 2014 NCAA tournament predictions with a look at the Midwest region, which is clearly the 'bracket of death' for number one seed Wichita State.

How were the Shockers rewarded for their undefeated 34-0 season? Oh, just by having Michigan, Duke, Louisville, and Kentucky all in their bracket. An early Christmas present? I don't think so.

But there's simply do no doubting the fact that this region is absolutely loaded, especially when you consider that both Louisville and Kentucky were badly under-seeded.

That means the Shockers have their work cut out for them if they want to remain undefeated and march all the way to a national title.

So with all that in mind, let's gather some thoughts and predictions on the Midwest region.

Quick Thoughts
  • We should probably start with the obvious, and that's trying to figure out why Louisville is a four-seed. The committee favors how a team fares down the stretch? The Cardinals have won 12 of 13 and stand at 29-5 overall. But, of course, the committee's reasoning is that it didn't believe in the American Athletic Conference, and Louisville was subsequently punished for that. It looks like Wichita State was punished for it, too.
  • Keep in mind that before the season started, Kentucky was considered the most talented team in the entire country. This season didn't turn out as expected for Julius Randle and company, but you're kidding yourself if you think this team can't make a Final Four run. That's even more bad news for Wichita State.
  • Watch out for Tennessee if they can make it past Iowa in the play-in game for the 11 seed. The Vols have Top 10 talent, but could never put it all together until the last couple of weeks of the season. They've gotten hot at the right time, so that's all that matters. A 35-point win over Virginia earlier in the season shouldn't be overlooked. Cuonzo Martin's job security looks much better than it did a month ago.
  • Can Wichita State really run through this ridiculous bracket? Of course they can. Don't mistake all the talk about Louisville's mis-seeding and the strengths of Duke, Michigan, and Kentucky as a knock to the Shockers. This team has continued to shock the world all season long, and if they get through this region and make the trip to Arlington, they will have done it again.

SECOND ROUND

#1 Wichita State over #16 Texas Southern
#8 Kentucky over #9 Kansas State
#12 NC State over #5 Saint Louis
#4 Louisville over #13 Manhattan
#11 Tennessee over #6 Massachusetts
#3 Duke over #14 Mercer
#7 Texas over #10 Arizona State
#2 Michigan over #15 Wofford

THIRD ROUND

#8 Kentucky over #1 Wichita State
#4 Louisville over #12 NC State
#3 Duke over #11 Tennessee
#2 Michigan over #7 Texas

SWEET 16

#4 Louisville over #8 Kentucky
#3 Duke over #2 Michigan

REGIONAL FINAL

#4 Louisville over #3 Duke

Who do you think will win the Midwest region? Let us know by commenting below! For more college basketball talk, follow FanIQ or myself on Twitter!
 
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview