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tBBC tBBC March Madness 2016: Midwest Region

Discussion in 'News' started by Ken, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. Ken

    Ken Guest

    tBBC March Madness 2016: Midwest Region
    Ken
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


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    Tuesday and Wednesday we’ll be giving you our insight into each NCAA Tournament Region, looking for the stories that you may not have read elsewhere.

    The Midwest Region is a solid Region, maybe not the toughest, but at some point in the Tourney, all the Regions are tough. The Region has two AP Top-10 teams, five Top-25 teams, and two Big Ten Teams. The ranked teams are: Michigan State (#2), Virginia (#4), Utah (#12), Purdue (#13) and Iowa State (#21). The B1G teams are Michigan State and Purdue, the Conference championship finalists.

    Rather than go through game-by-game in the Region, I’ll focus on five (5) topics; 1) the team likely to win region, 2) the region’s Cinderella team, 3) team most likely to be upset, 4) who is region’s unheralded player and 5) my Elite 8 picks. Envelopes, please…

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    Regional Favorite: Michigan State is my choice to win this Region. Coach Izzo has the Spartans playing at a very high level right now. It’s March, that’s what he does. They are talented, balanced and deep. They lead the country in scoring margin (16.5 ppg). Offensively, they are “death from above”, as Ohio State fans have seen. They lead the country in 3-pt accuracy (43%), providing them with 27 points per game, or about one-third of their total. They are 5th in the country in rebounds per game (41.9). They are 1st in the country in defensive rebounding (28.2). Opponents can expect a lot of “one and done” possessions. They just wear you out on the boards.

    Cinderella: The Midwest Glass Slipper will be worn by Coach Kevin Willard’s Seton Hall Pirates (25-8). Since the 3rd week of January, the Pirates are 12-2, with both losses coming to Creighton. They closed out their conference tourney run with wins over Creighton, #5 Xavier and #3 Villanova. They’ll make it to the Sweet Sixteen.

    Most likely upset: Dayton beats Syracuse. I’ll be blunt; I’m not a fan of Jim Boeheim, who is the ACC’s version of (former Wisconsin coach) Bo Ryan. Boeheim had made it known that despite his team’s 19-13 record (worse than Ohio State’s, btw) he felt his team was NCAA worthy because the Orange went 4-5 during his suspension. So, when he was actually coaching, they were 15-8. Still not great, but fair enough. However, there was no word about, under Boeheim, Syracuse lost 5 of their last 6. This team had an Iowa-esque end-of-season collapse.

    Unheralded Player: I’ll go with Seton Hall’s 6’4″, 210 lb guard, Isiah Whitehead. He leads the team in minutes played (32), points per game (18.4), assists (5.0) and pulls in 3.6 rebounds per game. He also leads the team in shot blocking. You need points? Isiah will get them. Prevent points? He can do that too.

    Elite Eight Teams: One of the two teams I see coming out of this Region for Elite Eight will be Michigan State.. The other team will be Virginia. They are the #2 and #1 Regional seeds, respectively. I would have reversed the seeding, but the body of work of both teams is very good.

    * Statistics courtesy of TeamRankings.com

    There, that should clarify things for you in the Midwest Region.

    The post tBBC March Madness 2016: Midwest Region appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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