2012 NCAA Bracket Picks: Midwest Region Odds, Predictions and Expert Bracketology Projections: The Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament Bracket has an interesting mix of teams. From high-scoring teams like North Carolina and Creighton to defensive-minded teams like San Diego State and South Florida, there will be a variety of styles of play on display in almost every matchup. Controlling the tempo will be a theme throughout the games in the Midwest Region, and whenever there such a distinct clash of styles, upsets are definitely possible.
NCAA Midwest Bracket Favorites to Make the Final Four
North Carolina: The Tarheels are one of the top scoring teams in the country, and they are the top rebounding team in the country. With Tyler Zeller, Harrison Barnes and John Henson, North Carolina has the best frontcourt in the country, and point guard Kendall Marshall makes sure all three big men get plenty of easy scoring opportunities by pushing the tempo. The big question mark is whether or not forward Henson will be able to play after suffering a wrist injury in the ACC tournament. The good news for the Tarheels is that Henson’s wrist isn’t broken, and they can probably get to the Sweet 16 without him. North Carolina is arguably the most talented team in the country, but focus has remained an issue all season. If they don’t reach the Final Four, the Tarheels have nobody to blame but themselves.
Kansas: A surprise loss in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament cost the Jayhawks a No. 1 seed, but this team is still capable of reaching the final four. Forward Thomas Robinson is a double-double machine, and he could end of winning the Wooden Award. Meanwhile, point guard Tyshawn Taylor gives Kansas star power on the perimeter and the interior. The Jayhawks aren’t the deepest team, but they are physical on both ends of the court and have balance on offense. Kansas is probably the most dangerous No. 2 seed in the tournament.
NCAA Midwest Bracket Upset Specials
California/USF over Temple: The Owls have a solid resume, including wins over Duke and Wichita State, but their defense struggled a bit down the stretch in A-10 play. Both the Golden Bears and the Bulls bring stout defenses to the table, and a defensive-minded, low-scoring game is not what Temple wants. California and USF have very similar styles of play, and the make up for a lack of offensive firepower with physical, athletic play. Whichever team comes out of the play-in game could rough up Temple and advance.
Ohio over Michigan: By grabbing a share of the Big 10 title, Michigan showed it can beat just about any team in the country. However, the Wolverines are also extremely dependent on the 3-point shot. Throw in freshman point guard Trey Burke dealing with the pressure of the NCAA tournament for the first time, and this perimeter-oriented team is ripe for an upset. The Bobcats are riding a wave of momentum after winning the MAC tournament, and they bring an above average defense to the matchup. If Michigan isn’t connecting from beyond the arc, Ohio could come away with the upset.
NCAA Midwest Bracket High Seed on Alert
Georgetown: The Hoyas have a very distinct style of play. They control the tempo, slow the game down and have methodical half-court offense. The strategy allows Georgetown to hang with any team they play against, even the teams that have much more firepower on offense. However, the strategy also allows teams with less talent than Georgetown to stay close to the Hoyas. A hot shooting night from any of the Hoyas opponents could bring a quick end to their tournament run. Even Georgetown’s first-round matchup against Belmont could be a scary one. The Bruins are fourth in the country in scoring.
NCAA Midwest Bracket PREDICTION: No. 1 seed North Carolina Tarheels
Vegas Favorites and Odds to win the 2012 Midwest Region
Get 2012 Midwest Region Odds on each individual game at Bovada Sportsbook
411 North Carolina +161
412 Kansas +216
413 Georgetown +911
414 Michigan +1721
415 Temple +2024
416 San Diego St. +3035
417 St. Mary’s +3035
418 Creighton +5058
419 Alabama +4553
420 Purdue +2024
421 North Carolina St. +1721
422 California +5058
423 South Florida +10116
424 Ohio +10116
425 Belmont +2024
426 Detroit +15173
427 Vermont +20230
428 Lamar +20230
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