Midwest Region Predictions
The Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament looks to be the toughest to pick according to oddsmakers. Here’s our breakdown and prediction for this region.
According to oddsmakers at YouWager, Duke is the slight favorite to win this region, as the Blue Devils have odds of +205 to prevail. Other short odds to win are Michigan State (+230) and Kansas (+270).
The Favorite: Duke +205
The Blue Devils certainly aren’t lacking in talent, but the largely young roster has dealt with some inconsistency throughout the season. Still, Duke had a nearly perfect non-conference run with a victory over Michigan State, the third seed in this region. I feel the Blue Devils matchup well with Kansas and they have arguably the best coach in the tournament. If the talent plays up to its ability, Duke has the capability to win the whole tournament.
The Dark Horse: Seton Hall +3000
This is a real stretch, but injuries have me feeling that Auburn, TCU and Clemson really can’t contend. Seton Hall is a team that has been playing well over the last few weeks, beating the likes of Providence and Butler, while losing by one in OT to Villanova. The Pirates are also a team that beat Louisville and Texas Tech during the season. While not without their flaws, Seton Hall will be a good team in an underdog role. The Big East was a really tough conference this season and breaking away from that should also provide a boost and give the Pirates a chance to be a real Cinderella.
Stay Away: Michigan State +230
I know that many people love Michigan State. The talent is there and Tom Izzo has shown an ability to work some magic in March. However, if you really look closely at the Spartans, there are clear flaws. The Big Ten schedule was incredibly favorable to MSU, as they didn’t have many tough road games. The ones they did have, they lost. Michigan State is a team that needs to get out in transition. When forced into a half-court offense, the Spartans struggle to get to the basket and commit far too many turnovers. I don’t see these problems getting fixed in a tough region.
Midwest Region Prediction
I feel like this region comes down to Kansas and Duke, but the Jayhawks are a program that have had a real propensity to exit the tournament far too early. I trust Coach K far more than I do Bill Self. I also think that the Blue Devils may have the better talent and with it being March, the young guys may start to focus in because they actually care about something this time of year.
MIDWEST REGION PREDICTIONS: DUKE +205