Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Midwest Bracket Breakdown : 2012 NCAA Tournament

Published on March 13, 2012 by Scott Shirley   ·   1 Comment

I think the Midwest is the easiest region of the four regions. This is good for the top seeds North Carolina and Kansas. Check out my Midwest region breakdown.

Top 10 Players:

1. Thomas Robinson (Kansas) – Robinson is the most dominate low post scorer in the country. He is also probably the strongest too. He would have my vote for Player of the Year.

2. Tyler Zeller (North Carolina) –After a slow start Zeller picked it up during conference play and was named the ACC Player of the Year. Zeller has the best jump hook in college basketball.

3. Doug McDermott (Creighton)- McDermott is the nation’s third leading scorer. He is also a very good three point shooter and rebounder.

4. Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)- Barnes has been more aggressive this season attacking the rim, and he is shooting the three better. Need a shot late to win, put money on Barnes to make it.

5. John Henson (North Carolina)- If he is healthy he is the 2nd best defender in college basketball. Henson improved his all-around offensive game.

6. Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas) – Taylor is averaging about 17 points and 5 assists per game not bad. He is also shooting a lot better from three.

7.Kendall Marshall (North Carolina) – Marshall is one of the best passing point guards to play in college basketball in a long time. Marshall set the record for most assists in the ACC for one season.

8. Robbie Hummel (Purdue) – Good for Hummel he has bounced back and had a great season after coming back from 2 ACL’s injuries.

9. Matthew Dellavedova (St. Mary’s) – The Australian point guard is having another standout season. This guy needs more publicity.

10. JaMychal Green (Alabama)- Despite being suspended for a couple games Green is still one of the best frontcourt players out there.

Top 3 coaches:

1.Roy Williams (North Carolina)-Since leaving Kansas Williams has won two national championships at UNC in 8 years.

2. Bill Self (Kansas)- This year has to be Self’s best coaching job, because not a lot of people expected Kansas to have the success they did this season. Self will be looking for his second NCAA title.

3. John Beilein (Michigan)- There is not really a third big time coach so I went with Beilein. Why? Because I think he is an excellent coach who gets the most out of his players.

Best first round Match up : (Creighton vs. Alabama)- One team is good at offense and struggles on defense and the other team is vice versa. The Creighton Blue Jays average about 80 points per game. They are led by the coach’s son Doug McDermott, who is one of the top scorers in the nation. Creighton shoots the three very well. Meanwhile Alabama has not given up 80 points all season. While the Tide excels on the defensive end they really struggle on offense. It hurt when their 2nd leading scorer, Tony Mitchell was kicked off the team. The Tide cannot shoot the three to save their life; in fact they do not have a player that is shooting over 35 % from deep. Which will win in this game offense or defense? I always take offense.

Upset alert 2nd round (Belmont over Georgetown)- Belmont almost pulled over a upset in the first game of the season losing at Duke by 1 point. This Bruin team has plenty of experience with 8 juniors and seniors on the team. Belmont loves to push it on offense and fire up plenty of threes. This is every high seeds worst nightmare. Georgetown is a very good defensive team, especially at defending the three but their problem is they struggle to score the ball. Georgetown recently lost to a 14 seed in the tournament to Ohio, so will it happen again this season?

Potential best third round Match up: (North Carolina/ Creighton) – North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes and Creighton’s Doug McDermott played on the same high school team. Wow, that must of have been one heck of a high school basketball team. If you like offensive basketball this is a game you need to watch as both teams average over 80 points per game. UNC’s one weakness is defending the three and the Blue Jays have 4 regulars shooting over 40 %. Creighton’s problem is they are not a good defensive team. They will have major problems going up against North Carolina’s front line with Tyler Zeller, John Henson and Barnes.

Potential best Sweet 16 Match up: (Kansas/ Georgetown)- This would be a game between two aggressive hard working defensive teams, while Kansas has a little more offensive fire power. Kansas big man Thomas Robinson is unstoppable. Georgetown’s Henry Sims does have the size to bother Robinson. On offense Georgetown runs the Princeton offense with a lot of back doors. The Hoyas big man led them in assists. Sometimes, the Hoyas really struggle to score on offense because they don’t have that one elite scorer. One huge edge Kansas has is at point guard with Tyshawn Taylor. He should dominate this game. I think Kansas’s three point shooting ability could also be a difference.

Potential best Elite 8 Match up: (North Carolina/ Kansas)- Talk about storylines. North Carolina’s head coach Roy Williams coaching against the school where he used to coach. Kansas beat the Tar Heels in a final four game in 2008. Also, the Tar Heels having to play Kansas not far from the Jayhawks campus. If you like to watch good inside play this is the game for you. It will be a battle between Kansas’ Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey versus UNC’s Tyler Zeller and John Henson. Robinson is clearly the best player, but the edge goes to the Heels because of the talents of both Henson and Zeller combined. Both teams have excellent point guards. UNC’s Kendall Marshall is the best passer out there and is scoring of late. Kansas’s Tyshawn Taylor is more of a scoring point guard. The teams are pretty even across the board, but the Heels get a big edge at the small forward position with Harrison Barnes. This will be a tough match up for Kansas. If this game is close late, Barnes would not be afraid to hit a big shot.

Final Four Sleeper (5 or lower): (Temple) – A lot of people forget that earlier this season the Owls beat Duke. The Owls have one of the best backcourts in college basketball. Guard Ramone Moore needs more pub nationally. The key to this team is big man Michael Eric, who hasn’t played the whole season due to injury. Compared to past Temple teams this team is better on offense than defense.

Sweet 16 Sleeper (10 or lower): (NC State)- The Wolfpack had to sweat it out on selection Sunday, they were the last team announced on the selection show. The Wolfpack almost had wins over Duke and UNC this season but came up short. This team has some serious talent. Leading the way is C.J. Lesile. Point guard Lorenzo Brown is one of the most underrated players out there. This team has always had the talent, but in past years the coaching was suspect. Now with a new head coach the Wolfpack can make a serious run, they are playing their best basketball right now.

Winner : Stay tuned for my picks later in the week

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