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2014 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region: Instant Analysis

Mar 16, 2014, 6:39 PM EDT

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No. 3 Wichita State played 34 games and won all 34, but there were still plenty of skeptics across the nation. Gregg Marshall’s Shockers will have ample opportunities to prove people wrong, because the selection committee handed them a region that is littered with tough match-ups.

The first possible matchup: eight-seed Kentucky, provided the Wildcats get past nine-seed Kansas State. And the rest of the region is loaded, with a Louisville team that’s rolling getting the four-seed by virtue of their non-conference strength of schedule. Rounding out the top four seed lines are two-seed Michigan, the Big Ten regular season champion, and three-seed Duke.

MORERead through all of our bracket analysis here

Michigan, Duke and Louisville all drew interesting opening match-ups. The Wolverines will face a deliberate Wofford team, with Duke drawing Atlantic Sun champ Mercer and Louisville meeting up with Rick Pitino protege Steve Masiello’s Manhattan Jaspers. Also of note in this region is the fact that three First Four games will feed into this region, including Iowa and Tennessee meeting with the winner getting six-seed UMass.

Fran McCaffery’s Hawkeyes flamed out down the stretch, going from a team playing for a protected seed to one that will need to win seven games to win a nation title. Add in N.C. State grabbing an at-large, and this region is full of surprises. Even with the Shockers going undefeated there are many who don’t believe. If Wichita State can navigate this region and get to Dallas, let there be no further doubt as this is an incredibly tough region.

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  1. strokinmyego - Mar 16, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    Where is the balance in these regions? This region is brutal. They should have sent Louisville to the East. I really don’t think Witchita State has a chance of getting out of the Midwest.

    • markzacharias1 - Mar 16, 2014 at 8:30 PM

      Tough yes, but I think our guys would love another crack at Louisville…

  2. thejjtrain - Mar 16, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    Looks like the committee are big fans of Warren Buffett

  3. psly2124 - Mar 16, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    This region is a cakewalk for Louisville.

  4. bigmeechy74 - Mar 16, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    This committee is garbage. They basically said “hmm… what’s the worst possible thing we could do to wichita st…” Plus the New Mexico seed is absurd. It’s a disservice to them and kansas. And I hate BYU and NC state getting in over green bay and smu. pitiful

  5. shutdownespn - Mar 16, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    The only Shocker would be if Wichita State makes it past the Sweet 16.

  6. antaresrex - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:22 AM

    Despite the top 20 RPI, St. Louis was one of the worst overseeds in the field. Should have been a 7 or 8. If Louisville doesn’t get to the second weekend they have no excuses.

    Would also love to swap out NC State for SMU.

  7. shockertalk - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:59 AM

    The Midwest Region is a gauntlet. I predict that only one team will be able to overcome the glut of talented teams in the region. Just one!

    The point is, the region is tough for Michigan, its tough for Louisville, its tough for Duke. I mean, it IS odd that the no. 1 seed (WSU) seems to have drawn the toughest second game of the top four seeds. But, other than that, its tough for anyone to get to the Final Four.

    So, WSU has just as much chance to win the region, as does Louisville, as does Michigan, as does Duke. They ARE as good a team as the others.

    BTW, don’t wreck your bracket picking Kentucky to beat K-State and/or WSU.

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