God I love this time of year. March Madness is literally the BEST. I’m not writing to give you a perfect bracket, but I wanted to give my thoughts on every region. But for now, here is the Midwest in the first round.
First and foremost, I want to add that this year’s round of 64 will be fun. There are a lot of teams that match up well against eachother and I am sure this was done on purpose.
To begin with, I want to emphasize that this bracket is going to be wild. Not only, do I believe that the #1 seed North Carolina will fall, I think it’s possible in even the second round. But let’s start with a few key matchups I am curious to see starting on Thursday. The first being the Utah State vs Washington matchup. Both are fantastic teams coming out of the West and I am more than dissapointed that they were put in this position. Both of these teams have the potential to beat North Carolina in the second round and I am anticipating the offensive powerhouse of Utah State to pull in a close and most likely last minute win against the Huskies of Washington to advance.
The next game I would like to emphasize is the #4 seed Kansas vs #13 Northeastern. I am predicting this to be a win for Kansas and that is the safe bet. However, this hard nosed Northeastern team has the capability to keep this close and I think they will make this match uncomfortable for the over ranked Jayhawks of Kansas that has been through a roller coaster of inconsistency this season both offensively and defensively.
Now some people are screaming about New Mexico State and I get it. This is a team that plays together and fights hard within the paint which is something that Auburn has somewhat struggled with this season. However, I think New Mexico State drew a tough one in the first round becasue Auburn is on a hot streak after they just won the SEC title game and even dismantling Tennessee. I expect them to continue their hot streak and move past the dangerous New Mexico State team that is capable and looking for that upset win.
The final exciting match up of this bracket in my eyes surrounds the #7 Wofford vs #10 Seton Hall matchup. On paper, Wofford is actually a highly impressive team and this first round is going to prove if they live up to the hype. If they can get past a fast paced Seton Hall team out of the Big East, I think they are going to pose a major threat to Kentucky in the second round. This is a matchup that I think will go down to the wire or be a blow out in some retrospect. Either way, these two teams are what March Madness is all about.
The rest of my 1st round picks in this region should be pretty obvious but include: North Carolina, Iowa State, Houston and Kentucky moving on to the second round, which I will write about after it occurs to keep more up to date. Overall, this region has the potential for upset after upset and don’t be surprised if you see it. Keep your bets light in this region until the sweet sixteen.