Midwest Region: Duke, Louisville Michigan State in Toughest Bracket
Louisville, considered the heavy favorite, sits atop the loaded Midwest bracket. Although the Cardinals are far and away the best team in the tournament, Rick Petino and company will have a long road to Indianapolis.
Every team through #7 Creighton is ranked in the AP top 25, and 12th seeded Oregon is coming off a Pac-12 title. It is easy to argue that more teams were under-seeded in this bracket than any other.
I fully expect Louisville to emerge from this bracket on to the Final Four, however, the Selection Committee did not give Louisville as comfortable of a path as the #1 overall seed deserves.
Round 1 games on the “Upset Watch” in this bracket are: #8 Colorado St. v. #9 Missouri, #5 Oklahoma St. v. #12 Oregon (Pac 12 tournament champs), and #6 Memphis v. either Middle Tennessee St. or St. Mary’s.
Thursday, Mar. 21
(Lexington, KY)- No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 16 NC A&T/Liberty
(Lexington, KY)- No. 8 Colorado St. vs. No. 9 Missouri
(San Jose, CA)- No. 5 Oklahoma St. vs. No. 12 Oregon
(San Jose, CA)- No. 4 St. Louis vs. No. 13 New Mexico St.
(Auburn Hills, MI)- No. 6 Memphis vs. No. 11 Middle Tennessee St./St. Mary’s (CA)
(Auburn Hills, MI)- No. 3 Michigan St. vs. No. 14 Valparaiso
Friday, Mar. 22
(Philadelphia, PA)- No. 7 Creighton vs. No. 10 Cincinnati
(Philadelphia, PA)- No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Albany (NY)