Midwest Region Predictions
Many look at the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament as a two-horse race. Which team will emerge and reach the Final Four of March Madness? Here’s our breakdown and predictions for the region.
According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, North Carolina is the favorite in this region, as the Tar Heels are getting odds of +200 to win. Other short odds to win are Kentucky (+275), Houston (+500), Auburn (+800) and Iowa State (+800).
The Favorite: 301 North Carolina +200
The Tar Heels are the top seed in the region and playing like a championship contender right now. They went toe-to-toe with Duke at full strength and came up just short. The Heels look like a team that could best Duke if they meet again. Their third-ranked offense nationally makes them very dangerous this time of year. While the lack of defense is a concern, I think the Heels will turn it up when they have to.
Stay Away From: 302 Kentucky +275
There’s not a lot of options here, as UNC and Kentucky seem to be the two favorites. Since I feel strongly about the Tar Heels, I have to side with the Wildcats here. Kentucky has the tools to win it all, but they have come up short in a lot of big games this season. That includes two losses to Tennessee, a loss to LSU, a loss to Duke and a loss to Seton Hall. When going toe-to-toe with a team like UNC, I just don’t trust the Wildcats to come through.
The Dark Horse: 304 Kansas +1000
Kansas isn’t on anyone’s radar right now and that is for good reason. The Jayhawks have had a down year and didn’t win the Big 12 for the first time in quite a while. However, that may work out into their favor this tournament. Usually Kansas disappoints in March Madness, as they exit early as a top seed. This year, Kansas is the 4 seed in this region with people giving them little expectation for success. Kansas has been done a huge favor by landing in the Midwest region, which has the regional semifinals and finals in Kansas City. If the Jayhawks can get past Northeastern and then Auburn, Kansas will have a home-court advantage for its second week. I think the Jayhawks provide good value at 10/1.
I feel good about North Carolina emerging as the top seed. The Tar Heels will be able to compete with any opponent when it comes to offense and they have really showed improvement since non-conference losses to the likes of Michigan and Kentucky. UNC has is just a team I trust to grind out wins more than I do Kentucky. They have the shooting to beat anyone in this tournament.
MIDWEST REGION PREDICTION: North Carolina +200