Round 2 of March Madness pits 16 teams against each other in the Midwest Region.
March Madness is upon us. Well known in US gambling news, many have already filled out their brackets and started their office pools. Since the 8 bottom teams have been reduced, we can now begin to look at the 64 teams that will face of in the first round. These teams have been divided by the ratings for each region. The four regions are Midwest, East, West and South.
• March Madness overview
• Midwest Region 2nd round
• March 19 -March 20
The top teams of course will play the weaker teams. The regions don’t represent the geographical location of the teams. Teams are purposefully placed outside of their region as not to give any one team a home court advantage. Of course in the next two rounds you may have teams that are playing within 100 miles of their home town. Now let’s look at the games that will occur in the Midwest Region competition in Louisville, Kentucky March 19-20.
First up we have University of Kentucky vs. Hampton University. The Kentucky Wildcats are a number 1 seed position which automatically makes them the favorites. Kentucky Coach John Calipari has led this team to their 15th appearance in March Madness. They hold a perfect record of 34-0 in their division. University of Hampton is a 16th seed with a record of 16-17, whose last tournament appearance was in 2011 which was their first appearance where they lost to Duke University.
Cincinnati University is an 8th seed making their 6th appearance in the tournament with a 22-1- record, will face Purdue. They are known for their strong defense and aggressive play under the net. Purdue University is a 9th seed with a fantastic 21-12 record. The Purdue Boilermakers rank first in 3-point and 2-point percentage shooting and 2nd in offensive rebounding. This means they can get the ball in the basket when they want. Purdue University is a Midwest Team which makes this as close to home court as you can get.
Columbus, Ohio hosts Wisconsin, Maryland, Buffalo and Valparaiso
University of West Virginia and University at Buffalo will square off. Championship Duke Team player and new coach Bobby Hurley brings Buffalo to their first appearance. Their record of 29-9 as their Mid-American division titled landed them a place at the show. Look out for West Virginia because their 29-9 record shouldn’t be scoffed at. With 20 appearances in the tournament and a 5th seed, the Mountaineers are the technical favorites in this matchup and a sure thing for those into mobile sports betting.
University of Maryland and Valparaiso will meet. Many belief Maryland Terrapins coach Turgeon was voted Big 10 coach of the year. Maryland is a 4th seed and has a young powerhouse in Trimble and a dominating senior named Wells. The teams last appearance was in 2010. Valparaiso has a better record with 28-5, but had to win their weaker division championship to get a bid. The former Cinderella team star now current coach Bryce Drew will have his work cut out for him.
Four more to compete in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Butler University and University of Texas will meet up. Butler has a 22-10 record, but are 2-3 on neutral courts like in Pittsburg. Butler turned heads by beating North Carolina in the Bahamas. Being 1st in rebounding and 2nd in 3-point shooting in their league they will come to play. The Texas Longhorns, barely making the tournament has a 20-13 record. Although they have strong players in Taylor, Turner, Ridley and Holmes, their perimeter shooting and inability to finish games will be in question.
Notre Dame and Northeastern may be a bit of a lopsided matchup. The Irish are a 3rd seed with an impressive 29-5 records will go against an 14th seeded team whose record of20-11 in a weaker division may cause harm. The Huskies and shoot and get rebounds, but Notre Dame’s All-American guard Grant makes his team one of the most entertaining in the country. Not to mention, this player has had half a year of rest because of a suspension. I’m sure the odd according to US gambling laws would prove interesting.
Omaha, Nebraska will host Wichita, Indiana, Kentucky and NMSU
Wichita State and Indiana University should be one of the best matchups of the Midwest Region. The 7th seeded Wichita Shockers had a 28-4 season, but lack the dominance they had last year. They are strong enough to surprise people including Indian University who are a 10th seed. Although they normally make the tournament, Indiana Hoosiers don’t have the best record. The Big 10 division 3-point scoring leaders may depend too much on their outside perimeter skills. It still may make for some fun basketball.
University of Kansas and New Mexico State will have their showdown. The Kansas Jayhawks, a perennial favorite at 26-8, have won the division title 12 straight times.
Though not seen as classical Kansas they rarely lose in the 2nd round of the tournament. Beware of New Mexico State. Las Cruces are currently considered on the hottest teams in the country who are in the middle of a 13-game winning streak. Also, this team with its player is appearing in the tournament for the 4th straight year.