The NCAA March Madness brackets were released about an hour ago and everyone is already feverishly filling them out. Well, picking the teams coming out of the bracket’s Midwest Region is going to be a bit of a challenge. Three out of the four top seeds in the region were in last year’s Final Four and the team out of that group that wasn’t in the Final Four is Duke. Maybe you’ve heard of them.
Wichita State finished their regular season off as a perfect 34-0, the first team to do so since the 1991 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. They’re the top seed in the division, but many feel that they’re unproven given that they play in the somewhat weak Missouri Valley Conference. They’ve dominated their competition, but it’s still going to be tough to pick them with certainty over a power conference school.
In the second round, the Shockers would likely play No. 8 seeded Kentucky, a second round matchup they didn’t want to have.
Michigan, Duke and Louisville round out the top-four in the region and show just how stacked it is. Michigan and Duke were borderline No. 1 seeds entering their conference tournaments and after dominating their conference, Louisville was getting a lot of support as a No. 2 seed. Somehow, they fell all the way to a No. 4 seed and could easily be the best No. 4 seed the tournament has ever seen.
Tennessee could be a sleeper in this region as they take on Iowa in a No. 12 seed play-in game on Wednesday night. The Volunteers have been playing great basketball as of late, finishing the season strong and giving No. 1 overall seed Florida all they could handle in the semi-finals of the SEC tournament.
While the other regions have intriguing matchups as well, the Midwest Region is going to be absolutely insane this year and should make March Madness that much more maddening.