After the first two days of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, college basketball fans were not treated to great basketball on Sunday afternoon as Louisville and Michigan State absolutely dominated their opponents in the round of 32. When the brackets were released on Selection Sunday, it was clear the Midwest Region was the toughest as it boasted the No. 1 overall seed in Louisville along with a superb top four in No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Michigan State and No. 4 St. Louis. Even the lower seeds were tough with squads like No. 7 Creighton and No. 12 Oregon. However, the blowouts won by the Cardinals and Spartans made it clear there will be no surprise champion this year.
Michigan State wasn’t even at its best, but a goofy attitude and a scuffle on their own bench even faze the Spartans as they demolished a Memphis team that was thinking upset. After the game, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo laughed through his entire post game interview after the subpar performance, the joking and the scuffle, proving he knows exactly just how good his team is and that he’s not worried about the tough competition it faces in the Midwest Region.
Louisville absolutely blasted Colorado State right after Michigan State concluded its victory. The Cardinals also played slightly sloppy, although no one noticed because they simply overwhelmed the Rams on both ends of the floor. That 20-steal performance in the round of 64 just continued in the round of 32 as Louisville looked like it was playing an elite high school team. That’s no knock against Colorado State; Louisville was simply more athletic, more talented and more focused. The Cardinals took the ball away from the Rams on every other possession and turned those takeaways into layups and dunks at the other end.
These two dominating performances alone are enough to convince almost anyone that this year’s champion will come out of the Midwest Region. It’s like the SEC of college football; everyone knows the champion is in there somewhere, but we just have to wait until everything is said and done to find out exactly which team it is.