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2012 NCAA Tournament Picks: Midwest



2012 NCAA Tournament Picks:
South | West | East | Midwest | Final Four 2012 NCAA Tournament Home
2012 NCAA Tournament Bracket Breakdowns:
East | West | Midwest | South
2012 NCAA Tournament Resources:
Computer Rankings



2012 NCAA Tournament: Midwest Bracket Picks


2012 NCAA Tournament: Midwest Bracket First Round



No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 16 Lamar
Would it be racist if I said that Lamar sounds like it's more athletic than Vermont? Yes? OK, good.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1 North Carolina


No. 8 Creighton vs. No. 9 Alabama
This is really close, but I'll give the edge to Creighton for two reasons. First, Alabama has dropped three of their previous eight games, while Creighton has claimed seven in a row. And second, the Crimson Tide hasn't been able to win on the road, owning a 4-6 visiting record.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 8 Creighton


No. 5 Temple vs. No. 12 California
I want to pick one 12-5 upset, and this will be it. I think California is a better team than Temple because it plays much better defense. The Owls are 97th in defensive efficiency, and I don't like the fact that they lost their opening-round conference tournament game. I'll change this pick if South Florida prevails over California, but the Bulls can't score whatsoever.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 5 Temple


No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 13 Ohio
Ohio has trouble scoring and isn't very battle-tested. John Beilein is a really good tournament coach, so I can't see the Wolverines tripping up against their hated rivals.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 4 Michigan


No. 6 San Diego State vs. No. 11 N.C. State
N.C. State is the better team, but let's forget about that for a second. Think about what the Selection Committee is asking from the Aztecs. Not only do they have to travel all the way from San Diego to Columbus; they have to play basketball at 12:40 Eastern, which is 9:40 a.m. local time for them. The Selection Committee LOVES screwing over these non-BCS teams.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 11 N.C. State


No. 3 Georgetown vs. No. 14 Belmont
Belmont University is named after Simon Belmont, a famous vampire hunter from long ago. If that's not enough to convince you to take them in an upset, how about this? I have Belmont ranked one spot ahead of Georgetown in my rankings, determined by a formula encompassing everything I look for in NCAA Tournament teams (freshmen point guards, road success, coaching, etc.) The Vampire Hunters are great from deep, so if they hit their shots, they can pull off the upset against a lazy Georgetown squad that has a habit of being upset early in the Big Dance.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 14 Belmont


No. 7 Saint Mary's vs. No. 10 Purdue
Matt Painter has never lost in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament as Purdue's head coach. I don't expect him to start now. The Boilermakers are the better team because Saint Mary's plays terrible defense.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 10 Purdue


No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 15 Detroit
The ESPN people are talking up Detroit, but you should never pick a No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2 seed. It's only happened four times in NCAA Tournament history.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 2 Kansas





2012 NCAA Tournament: Midwest Bracket Second Round



No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 8 Creighton
Lots of people are down on North Carolina, but the Heels are my No. 3 overall team behind Kentucky and Michigan State. Creighton is 49th because of its atrocious defense.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1 North Carolina


No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 5 Temple
Michigan and California are about even according to my computerized rankings, so the aforementioned rule applies: Pick the team most likely to be there. It's more likely that the Golden Bears lose to Temple (or South Florida) than Michigan loses to Ohio.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 4 Michigan


No. 11 N.C. State vs. No. 14 Belmont
This is another situation in which I'm going to take one team in a close matchup because it's more likely that it'll be there than the other. It's more likely that N.C. State will beat San Diego State than Belmont will knock off Georgetown.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 11 N.C. State


No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 10 Purdue
Like Bo Ryan, Matt Painter fares well in the opening round, but struggles to get into the Sweet 16. The Boilermakers aren't very good, so even though I think the Jayhawks are a bit overrated, I'm going to pick Kansas in this matchup.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 2 Kansas







2012 NCAA Tournament: Midwest Bracket Sweet 16



No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 4 Michigan
There's always a chance that Michigan goes nuts from three and consequently pulls the upset, but it's more likely that North Carolina will pull away with a victory because of its superior talent. John Henson is sure to be 100 percent by the Sweet 16, so the Tar Heels will be very dangerous at full strength.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1 North Carolina


No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 11 N.C. State
N.C. State can easily win a game or two in the NCAA Tournament, but advancing past the Sweet 16 will be difficult for them because of their 78th-ranked defense. Again, I'm not a big fan of this Kansas team, but Bill Self's squad should be able to knock off the Wolfpack.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 2 Kansas





2012 NCAA Tournament: Midwest Bracket Elite Eight



No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 2 Kansas
The Tar Heels have a better point differential and more conference blowouts - two indicators for how teams fare in the NCAA Tournament. More importantly, Roy Williams has had much more tournament success than Bill Self. Save for his championship run in 2008, Self's teams have had a habit of underachieving in the Big Dance. Williams is superior, by comparison, so he should be able to knock off his former team.

2012 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1 North Carolina



2012 NCAA Tournament Picks:
South | West | East | Midwest | Final Four 2012 NCAA Tournament Home
2012 NCAA Tournament Bracket Breakdowns:
East | West | Midwest | South
2012 NCAA Tournament Resources:
Computer Rankings






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