NCAA Tournament: Midwest Region First Round Predictions

Ian ZymarakisSenior Analyst IMarch 17, 2008

Much like the East Region, here are my predictions for the first round of games for the Midwest Region.

(1) Kansas vs. (16) Portland St.

Much like UNC, Kansas wins this one easily. As I have said in the past, no No.1 team has ever lost to a No. 16 and it definitely won't happen here.

Don't get me wrong—Portland. St. is a good team, but Kansas will win this game by more than 20.

(8) UNLV vs (9) Kent St.

UNLV wins this one game, a game where you could pick this game on your bracket by flipping a coin. I think Kent St. is the better team, but UNLV is more experienced after reaching the Elite 8 last season.

This is one of one games in this part of the bracket in the first round that will be a coin flip choice.

(5) Clemson vs. (12) Villanova

Villanova gets the upset here in the always scary 5 vs. 12 matchup.

Clemson made a nice run in the ACC Tournament, but the players looked so dejected after losing in the finals that I feel it will carry over to this game.

'Nova will go as Scottie Reynolds does, Nova also will show why they were chosen for the tournament over teams like ASU or Virginia Tech.

(4) Vanderbilt vs. (13) Siena

Vanderbilt wins this one in what many are calling a possible upset alert matchup, I think otherwise as Vanderbilt advances winning by 10+ points over a pesky Siena team.

(6) USC vs. (11) Kansas St.

USC wins this one in a battle of extremely talented freshmen, Beasley goes for 30+ but is no much for Mayo's 25 and Mayo's reliable role players, Hackett and Jefferson.

USC wins this one, sending Beasley into the NBA draft after a first round exit.

This is the second of my three games that I picked out as coin flip choices—no clear cut favorite in this game.

(3) Wisconsin vs. (14) CS Fullerton

Wisconsin wins this one with some great defense.

Fullerton can shoot the ball well but Wisconsin's defense proves too tough.

Wisconsin is definitely a darkhorse team to make the Final Four.

I think they play good basketball and are very consistent and could pose a threat possibly to Georgetown in the Sweet 16 if both teams get there.

(7) Gonzaga vs. (10) Davidson

In what may be the most entertaining matchup in the first round of this region, Davidson wins and extends its winning streak.

I don't feel that this Gonzaga team is as good as teams in the past and Davidson is an extremely good shooting team with Stephen Curry leading the way.

Gonzaga heads home early this season as Davidson moves on in a close one.

This is my third game that I picked out as a coin flip choice—there is no clear cut favorite in this game although I do feel Davidson will advance.

(2) Georgetown vs. (15) UMBC

Georgetown wins this one easily holding UMBC to points in the mid 40's.

Their defense is that good and might be the catalyst in what gives Georgetown and extended run through the tournament.

Recap of the winners from the first round of the Midwest region:

(1) Kansas

(8) UNLV

(12) Villanova

(4) Vanderbilt

(6) USC

(3) Wisconsin

(10) Davidson

(2) Georgetown




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