NCAA Midwest Region: Preview and Predictions for all First Round Games

Midwest Region
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 14: Wendell Carter Jr #34 of the Duke Blue Devils is fouled by Jaren Jackson Jr. #2 of the Michigan State Spartans during the State Farm Champions Classic at the United Center on November 14, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Duke defeated Michigan State 88-81. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

 

No doubt this is the toughest bracket of the four and that makes this the hardest bracket to pick.

(1) Kansas vs. (16) Penn – On paper, this looks like a mismatch but I really think this will be a tight game. Penn moves the ball around well and after a slow start to the season have been playing lights out. I like Kansas to pull away late in this one. Kansas 72 Penn 63

(8) Seton Hall vs. (9) N.C. State – This I think is a tremendous matchup between two teams that are much better than where they are seeded. The Difference will be N.C. State’s four guard line up and the difficulty that Seton Hall will have in guarding them. N.C. State 79  Seton Hall 75

(5) Clemson vs. (12) New Mexico State – I smell UPSET here! Clemson just hasn’t been the same since they lost Donte Grantham and New Mexico State is a very good team. New Mexico State 71  Clemson 62

(4) Auburn vs. (13) College of Charleston – Charleston is led by a trio of players, Grant Riller and fifth-year senior Joe Chealey, both first-team All-Colonial selections. They form a high-scoring backcourt. F Jarrell Brantley missed the first part of the season with a knee injury but returned to be an inside presence. Auburn was a surprise team all year and the ability they have to shoot the ball makes them are hard out for anybody. Auburn 80  Charleston 68

(6) TCU vs. (11) Syracuse or Arizona State – I look for Arizona State to win the game but in the end, TCU is the safer bet as they were more consistent during the season. TCU 77  Arizona State 73

(3) Michigan State vs. (14) Bucknell – This game could be closer than expected as Bucknell is experienced and tough up front, but I am going with the team Tom Izzo coaches here. Michigan State 82  Bucknell 71

(7) Rhode Island vs. (10) Oklahoma – I don’t think Oklahoma even deserves to be in the tournament but if Trae Young gets hot they could make a run. I like the Rams in this games as they have been the more consistent team this season. Rhode Island 75 Oklahoma 74

(2) Duke vs. (15) Iona – Duke should roll. Duke 87  Iona 67

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