Midwest Region Breakdown and Analysis…
2009 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Bracket Seeding
1 – Louisville, 2 – Michigan State, 3 – Kansas, 4 – Wake Forest
5 – Utah, 6 – West Virginia, 7 – Boston College, 8 – Ohio State
9 – Siena, 10 – USC, 11 – Dayton, 12 – Arizona, 13 – Cleveland State
14 – North Dakota State, 15 – Robert Morris, 16 – Play in Game Winner (won’t matter, trust me)
On the night of March 20th, these teams will begin their journey on their way to a potential National Championship run in Detroit on April 6th. Compared to the other regions in the tournament and the opportunity for the #1 seed (in this case, Louisville) to make it to the Final Four, I rank the Midwest as the 2nd toughest bracket out of the field.At a broad look at the bracket, Louisville will find a tough road to Detroit after just winning the more-than-grueling Big East Conference Tournament. However, tournament time is Pitino time so look for the Cards and Terence Williams to step up and be a force in the tournament. Louisville will likely have to face Siena after they win an upset special over the overrated Buckeyes in the first round. Don’t sleep on Siena, they’ve won games before and have NCAA tourney history. In the 5-12 matchup, Arizona, a team that no one thought would even be considered to make an appearance in the tourney, is set up to take down the fightin’ Utes of Utah. However, the winner of the 5-12 matchup will be up against Wake Forest in the Round of 32. Wake Forest, though streaky at times, will give Louisville a run for their money in the Sweet 16. Now, the 6-11 game. I am definitely on the bandwagon of streaking West Virginia. The Mountaineers have played extremely well as of late and will continue their strong play, led by Butler and Ruoff, in the early rounds of the Tourney. I think they’ll take care of Dayton then take it to a Kansas team who is struggling of late and has little tournament experience with its current cast of players. Sheron Collins is the only member remaining on the squad who played in the National Championship vs. Memphis last year. I like WVU to win a couple games then bite the bullet against Louisville in the Elite Eight, a direct result of Pitino’s experience and tournament history. In the Midwest region’s 7-10 matchup, USC, another streaker, will struggle to pull away from but eventually take care of business against Boston College and Tyrese Rice. As much as I like Rice and the rest of the ACC in the Tourney, I have USC making a couple game run and really surprising people. This would include upsetting a too highly praised Michigan State ball club. After winning their first round game, I see them in a huge letdown against USC in the Round of 32. Tom Izzo is a great coach, but his team in 2009 is just not that deep. And I can’t stand the Big Ten….oh by the way.
In the Sweet 16, West Virginia will continue its stellar shooting from 3-point range and Louisville will prove its dominance and both will meet in a great, high scoring matchup in the Elite 8 for the right to go to Detroit. Overall, I really can’t see Louisville letting the NCAA committee and the rest of the field down. Rick Pitino, see you in Detroit.
Ok folks, get out your brackets…
2009 MIDWEST REGION PREDICTIONS
Sleeper teams to win at least one game: USC, Arizona, Siena
Most intriguing team to watch: Wake Forest (can they prove themselves?)
Biggest regional upset: USC beating Michigan State in the Round of 32 to advance to the Sweet 16
1st Round Winners: Louisville, Kansas, West Virginia, Siena, Arizona, Wake Forest, USC, and Michigan State
2nd Round Winners: Louisville, Wake Forest, West Virginia, and USC
Midwest Region Sweet 16 Winners: West Virginia, Louisville
Midwest Region Elite 8 Winner: Louisville
OUT OF THE MIDWEST REGION, Louisville WILL REPRESENT THE FIELD IN DETROIT AT THE FINAL FOUR
Analysis and breakdown of the West Region coming soon….