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Best Of The Midwest Region

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The Midwest is a really top heavy region of the bracket. The top four seeds are far superior as you can probably tell from the odds. St Louis is the #4 seed and their odds to win this region is 7.5-1 then you jump to the next best and it is 20-1. That is a big swing between a #4 and #5 seed.


Louisville is probably the most well rounded team in the nation. They have held opponents to under 60 points 21 times this year. They pressure the ball like few teams and have a big presence in 6-11 Gorgui Dieng to protect the paint. They create most of their offense through their defense but Russ Smith can carry the load when needed.


Eventually they will run into the Billikens of St Louis. They can beat any one, any place, any time. But they do not match up particularly well with Louisville. They would need to limit the turnovers and find a hole in the Louisville half court defense. They do not have the offensive fire power to do that. So Louisville moves on in a tough battle.


Then we look at the bottom half of the bracket. Tom Izzo, and Coach K have too much talent on their hands to falter before the Sweet 16 this year. They will be playing each other. This could be the first break in the chalk. Michigan State matches up rather well with Duke. They hit the glass and play strong defense and Duke can be a bit soft inside. They need to have Mason Plumlee at his best over the next few weeks, should they last that long. Even the location points to a Michigan State advantage. '


But Duke feels a bit special to me this year. They are 6-1 vs top 25 teams, nobody else in the country can say they have a record better. Most of that was without one of their best players Ryan Kelly. Without him Plumlee and Seth Curry have stepped up their game averaging over 34 points a game. If they can put a little more effort in on defense, the addition of Ryan Kelly makes them plenty explosive on the offensive end, they will be going a long way.


And with that I think they get past Michigan State and keeps the chalk going. But I think they also break it in the next game. I think a Duke/Louisville Elite Eight game would be awfully exciting. Duke has the ball handling and scoring ability to get past them though, and Coach K is a much better coach than Rick Pitino. Roll with Duke coming out of the Midwest bracket.



Tuesday, March 19, 2013




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