Here is a look at the Midwest Regional. We'll take a look at all four regionals and each team until Tuesday. Expect the unexpected in this tournament. Michigan State (27-7) is the number one seed out West, Kentucky (32-2) is number one from the South, Syracuse (31-2) is number one from the East and North Carolina (29-5) is number one from the Midwest.
In the Midwest, #1 North Carolina (29-5) takes on the winner of #16 Lamar/Vermont from Greensboro, NC from Friday and Sunday. #8 Creighton (28-5) faces #9 Alabama (21-11) in the other game. North Carolina is one of the top teams in the nation, averaging 81ppg and shooting 46% from the field. The big key for the Heels is the health of F John Henson (6-11, 220, 14.2ppg, 10.3rpg, 3bpg) who is their key defender, has an injured wrist. With him, the Heels have the best frontcourt in the nation, also led by soph. Harrison Barnes (6-8, 215, 17.4ppg, 5.1rpg) and senior Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250, 16.3ppg, 9.3rpg). Lamar (23-11) averages 73ppg and is coached by Pat Knight. They have a senior-laden backcourt, led by Mike James (6-1, 185, 17.2ppg). They also have very little size up front but will try and beat Vermont with their quickness. The Catamounts (23-11) run a flex offense and play tough man-to-man defense. They average 67ppg and allow 60.5ppg. SEnior C Matt Glass (6-8, 210, 11.9ppg, 3.7rpg) leads the team in scoring while soph. F Brian Voelkel (6-6, 210, 4.7ppg, 8.6rp, 5.2apg) is their best all-around player. Alabama is a very strong defensive team that averages 64ppg and allows just 58.1ppg. Anthony Grant suspended top scorer Tony Mitchell but did bring back senior JaMychael Green (6-8, 228, 13.8ppg, 7.3rpg), who can play both ends of the floor. Soph. G Trevor Releford (12ppg) is a pure point guard who also defends well. They did beat Purdue and VCU in non-conf. play. Creighton is a team that could go far. They average 80ppg, shooting 51% from the floor and allow 69.5ppg. They beat San Diego State on the road and routed Iowa at home by 23. They also beat Long Beach State in the BracketBusters. This team is led by Doug McDermott (23.2ppg, 8.2rpg), son of head coach Greg and one of the nation’s top scorers. At center, junior Gregory Echenique (6-9, 270, 9.8ppg, 7.4rpg, 54 blocks), a transfer from Rutgers, was MVC Def. Player of the Year.
From Nashville, #5 Temple (24-7) takes on the winner of #12 California (24-9) and #12 South Florida (20-13). Temple averages 76ppg and shoots 47% from the floor and 40% from beyond the arc. Temple beat Wichita State in OT and Duke at home. They have very strong guard play led by seniors Juan Fernandez (6-4, 195, 11.4ppg, 3.8apg) and G Ramone Moore (6-4, 190, 17.8ppg, 4.2rpg). Senior Michael Eric (6-11, 240, 9.2ppg, 8.7rpg) is the team’s interior defender. California averages 71ppg and allows just 61.8ppg. Cal won 24 games but didn’t beat anybody outside their conference. They lost to Missouri by 39 and to UNLV by 17. Soph. Justin Cobbs (6-2, 195, 12.8ppg, 5.1apg) sets the tone at the point. Up front, senior Harper Kamp (6-8, 245, 11.3ppg, 5.1rpg) is an old-school power forward, who likes to play down low. They are a smart team that’s not very athletic. They take on South Florida, who averages just 59ppg and allows 56.9ppg. This team wins with a slow approach and a mixture of defenses. Senior Ron Anderson Jr. (6-8, 237, 7.3ppg, 5.6rpg) and senior Gus Gilchrist (6-10, 241, 9.6ppg, 4.9rpg) are a rugged duo up front. How did the Bulls get in? They beat Louisville by 7 and beat Pittsburgh twice. If Temple can get by USF or Cal, they have to face #4 Michigan (24-9) or #13 Ohio U. (27-7). Michigan runs a Princeton-style offense, while averaging just 66ppg and allowing 62.5ppg. Freshman Trey Burke (5-11, 180, 14.6ppg, 4.6apg) runs the show and can score from deep range. Junior Tim Hardaway Jr. (6-6, 200, 14.5ppg) is second in scoring, while senior Zack Novak (6-4, 210, 9.5ppg) is part of a four-guard starting corps. This isn’t a very exciting team but they are tough to play. And they had a very good season in a strong Big 10. Ohio U. averages 70ppg and allows just 62.4ppg while shooting just 43% from the floor. They are a very good rebounding team, leading the MAC with 12.7 offensive rebounds per game. Junior G D.J. Cooper (14.6ppg, 5.6apg) runs the show and is a very strong defender. Up front, they lack great size but are very agile. Junior Ivo Baltic (6-8, 215, 9ppg, 5.1rpg) led the team in rebounds. Junior Reggie Keely (6-8, 265, 9.2ppg, 5.1rpg) does provide the size off the bench.
From Columbus, Ohio, #6 San Diego State (26-7) takes on #11 NC State (22-12) on Friday, while #3 Georgetown (23-8) faces #14 Belmont (27-7). San Diego State averages 71ppg and shoots 46% from the floor. Steve Fisher’s club beat Arizona on the road, Cal at home and Long Beach St. at home in OT. They also lost to Baylor on the road by 10. Soph. G Xavier Thomas (6-3, 195, 10.5ppg, 4.4apg) leads the way. Up front, the Aztecs lack size but they do have soph. Jamaal Franklin (6-5, 195, 17.1ppg, 8rpg), who has to play power forward. They take on a talented NC State team that averages 73ppg and allows 68ppg, while shooting 46% from the field. NC State has a budding star in PG Lorenzo Brown (6-5, 186, 12.5ppg, 6.3apg), a two-guard moved to the point. NC State did win four straight before losing by 2 to UNC in the semifinals. Soph. C.J. Leslie (6-8, 209, 14.2ppg, 7.3rpg) is a tough cover for any power forward because of his great speed. But his shot needs work. So does NC State but they are dangerous here. Georgetown averages 69ppg and allows 59.2ppg, while shooting 46% from the floor and allowing teams to shoot just 39%. Defense has always been a calling hard. Senior guard Jason Clark (6-2, 180, 14.3ppg) isn’t a really a true point guard but is the team’s best option there. Freshman Otto Porter (6-8, 205, 9ppg, 6.8rpg) has really come as of late, while junior Hollis Thompson (6-8, 212, 13ppg, 5.6rpg, 46% 3pt) is one of the best shooters in the conference. This is a young team that struggled in the tournament but could go a long way if Porter and some of the youngsters get confident. Belmont is a dangerous opponent because they have no fear. This is team that won 30 games the previous season and lost at Duke by 1 and beat Marshall and Middle Tennessee State. They also have won 14 straight games. They average 81ppg and shoot 48.4% from the floor. Junior Kerron Johnson (6-1, 175, 14.1ppg, 5.2apg) is the playmaker. Senior Mike Hedgepeth (6-9, 235, 9.8ppg, 5.8rpg) scored 17 points against Wisconsin last year (they lost that game by 14 points).
From Omaha, Neb., #7 St. Mary’s (27-5) takes on #10 Purdue (21-12) on Friday, while #2 Kansas (27-6) faces #15 Detroit (22-13). St. Mary’s averages 79ppg and allows 66.3ppg, while shooting 49% from the field. Junior G Matthew Dellavedova (6-4, 190, 15.6ppg, 6.4apg) was the WCC Player of the Year, who is a very creative player without great quickness. Senior Rob Jones (6-6, 240, 14.8ppg, 10.7rpg) is a dominating presence on the boards, while freshman Brad Waldow (6-9, 250, 8.2ppg, 4.5rpg) adds size and continues to improve. Despite not having a great non-conf. win, they are a very dangerous team. Purdue averages 72ppg and allows 62ppg, while shooting 45% from the floor. Senior PG Lewis Jackson (5-9, 165, 10.5ppg, 4.2apg) leads the way for Matt Painter. The key is senior Robbie Hummel (6-8, 215, 16.8ppg, 7rpg), who has gone through numerous knee injuries but is still very productive. This is a team that won’t beat themselves, but also lacks the firepower to go far. Kansas does have a lot of firepower, averaging 82ppg and allowing just 64.7ppg. They shoot 51% from the floor and allow just 39%. They have a star in Thomas Robinson (6-10, 237, 18ppg, 11.9ppg) but they lack the superstar wing of the past. Senior G Tyshawn Taylor (6-3, 185, 17.2ppg, 4.9apg) runs the team while junior C Jeff Withey (7-0, 235, 9.2ppg, 6.2rpg) is the key to the team’s success. Detroit averages 72ppg and allows 67.6ppg. The Titans played Alabama and Mississippi State to tight, single-digit losses, but they don’t have a big win. So why should Kansas be scared? Detroit has an outstanding guard in sophomore Ray McCallum (6-2, 188, 15.6ppg, 3.9apg), while senior guard Chase Simon (6-7, 216, 13.5ppg) is a versatile player. They have a strong bench and some size led by senior Eli Holman (6-10, 260, 10.9ppg, 6.8rpg), who plays 23.2mpg. Senior LaMarcus Love (6-10, 210, 6.6ppg, 2.2bpg) is the teams’ defensive specialist.