The Road to Atlanta: Midwest Region

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by Tyler Hobbs

In case you haven’t heard, the selection committee has made their decision and it is March Madness time again. I have been blessed by a different committee, the 4FanSports committee, to write a preview about the most dangerous and top heavy region in the bracket, the Midwest. Headlined by Louisville (the No. 1 overall seed), Duke (perhaps the best 2 seed), Michigan State, Saint Louis (mehhh), and Oklahoma State, this region is sure to do some damage and have the majority of the attention throughout the tournament. Right? Not so fast, are we forgetting what the NCAA Tournament is about?
You can make the case for any of the 5 teams listed above to have a legitimate chance of making the final four, and going further. Louisville plays the best defense in the country, Duke has only lost one game since the return of their hideous ogre of a power forward Ryan Kelly, Michigan State has Tom Izzo, Saint Louis exists, and Oklahoma State was the lucky team that drew my pick as a dark horse. But that is not what the tournament is about. The tournament is about the Cinderellas, the teams that have the opportunity to have the replay of their victory played at the end during “One Shining Moment.” Unfortunately, I don’t see “that” team coming from this bracket. As I said before, this region is loaded, and if Louisville, Michigan State, Duke, or Oklahoma State doesn’t come out of this region, I would be completely shocked. We watch the tournament religiously for the chance to see some team that we couldn’t locate on a map make a deep run and upset the heavy hitters in the BCS Conferences. So if you are looking for a Cinderella, stroll to a different region in the bracket, because it is highly unlikely that it will be coming from here.
If you want to see great basketball and see the best teams win every game, then punch yourself in the face. Then tune into all of these games because upsets will be seldom in the Midwest. When filling out my bracket, every region had a fairly miraculous upset, other than the Midwest. I just didn’t see it. Of course, that is the great thing about the tournament, it resembles a box of chocolates, meaning that you never know what you are going to get. For all we know, North Carolina A&T could be the first 16 seed to take down a 1 seed (*fingers crossed*). Is it likely? No. Will it happen? No. Unfortunately, I think the most likely scenario, as bold as it may seem, is that the 1 seed and 2 seed battle it out for the Final Four bid, which is the most boring thing ever.
If you are like me, and want to watch the biggest upset from start to finish, I would tune into a different region, and just keep these games on stat tracker. Because the reality is that the second and third rounds of these games could be fairly boring when it comes to upsets, but what they lack in upsets, they partially make up for in basketball integrity. Check in on these games next week during the Sweet Sixteen and beyond when you see college basketball’s finest go toe to toe in a mildly historic bout. If you want to watch Louisville and Duke win by 30+ in their first game, be my guest, but I will be tuning in to the Gonzaga game in hopes of watching history. Go Southern….. whatever their mascot is.

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