March Madness 2010 Preview and Predictions: Midwest Region

Jesse KramerCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2010


First Round

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Lehigh

Lehigh has no chance in this game. A No. 16 seed has never beaten a No. 1 seed, and that will not change this year.

Kansas 83, Lehigh 50

No. 8 UNLV vs. No. 9 Northern Iowa

Northern Iowa's defense has been so dominant this year. UNLV has a good offense, but not good enough to overpower the Northern Iowa defense.

Northern Iowa 58, UNLV 55

No. 5 Michigan State vs. No. 12 New Mexico State

New Mexico State has an outstanding offense, but the Aggies simply do not play defense. Michigan State plays good enough offense to keep up with New Mexico State, while also playing much better defense than the Aggies.

Michigan State 83, New Mexico State 79

No. 4 Maryland vs. No. 13 Houson

It was only by a miracle that Houston made it into the NCAA Tournament. Greivis Vazquez against Aubrey Coleman could be the best matchup in the first round. Maryland has too many threats and Aubrey Coleman alone will not be enough for Houston to pull off a first round upset.

Maryland 74, Houston 58

No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 11 San Diego State

San Diego State is a great team, but Tennessee is more talented and athletic. The Aztecs should make a good run against Tennessee, but the Volunteers' defense has too much of an edge.

Tennessee 68, San Diego State 62

No. 3 Georgetown vs. No. 14 Ohio

Ohio will manage to make this game exciting. The Bobcats are similar to Georgetown, having many scoring threats. The difference in this game will be Greg Monroe. The Bobcats don't have a big man that can keep up with Monroe.

Georgetown 77, Ohio 68

No. 7 Oklahoma State vs. No. 10 Georgia Tech

Oklahoma State has not much as much experience or success as Georgia Tech away from home. Georgia Tech looked like the team it was destined to be after beating Duke in January, falling four points short of an ACC championship. Oklahoma State has been struggling, and Georgia Tech is playing great.

Georgia Tech 75, Oklahoma State 70

No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 15 UC Santa Barbara

When Ohio State has played far inferior teams, the Buckeyes defense has gotten them off to a hot start and they never had to look back. This will be a similar case in the first round.

Ohio State 78, UC Santa Barbara 60

Second Round

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Northern Iowa

Kansas has so many players that can score. This will tire the Panthers' defense and let the Jayhawks take control late in the game. Northern Iowa's defense should be able to keep up for at least the first half, but then lost energy and the final score will not reflect how close the game actually was.

Kansas 73, Northern Iowa 61

No. 4 Maryland vs. No. 5 Michigan State

Michigan State does not play good enough perimeter defense to shut down all of Maryland's sharp shooters. The Spartans also have multiple players prone to turning the ball over. Maryland tends to get off to a good start when forcing turnovers early.

Maryland 80, Michigan State 73

No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 3 Georgetown

Georgetown's play generally relies on how much energy the Hoyas bring the floor. The Hoyas have always brought the energy they need in the biggest games. Georgetown is mainly an offensive team, and Tennessee has a very good defense.

If the Hoyas can't hit their shots against the tough Volunteers' defense, the energy level will go down. Once the energy level goes down, Georgetown will struggle.

Tennessee 74, Georgetown 66

No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 10 Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech does not have the right player to defend Evan Turner. The Yellow Jackets' big men are good in the post, and they might not have a way to defend Turner all over the floor. Once Turner gets going, he will score and also be able to find his teammates for easy baskets. 

Ohio State 68, Georgia Tech 58

Sweet Sixteen

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 4 Maryland

Maryland's defense is nowhere near where it needs to be to compete with Kansas. Kansas simply has a much better team than the Terps.

Kansas 82, Maryland 71

No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Tennessee

Tennessee will really miss Tyler Smith in this game. The Volunteers need multiple players to play with Evan Turner and Dallas Lauderdale in the paint.

The Volunteers still have a couple of big men, but Wayne Chism and Brian Williams will not be able to play the whole game. Other players will need to help Chism and Williams out in the post, leaving Ohio State's shooters open.

Ohio State 79, Tennessee 70

Elite Eight

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 2 Ohio State

Evan Turner will power Ohio State into the Final Four.

This could potentially be the best game of the tournament. Kansas and Ohio State matchup extremely evenly and this game could go either way. Both teams have the guys who run the offense, and then players who will consistently chime in for a quiet 10 or so points to back up the stars.

The stats are so even, so it is hard to tell who will win. My gut says Ohio State, so the Buckeyes will go the Final Four out of the Midwest Region.

Ohio State 79, Kansas 78


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