2012 March Madness Midwest Region 3rd Round Preview

2012 March Madness Midwest Region 3rd Round Preview

There haven’t been any shockers in the Midwest Region yet, but there have been some small upsets. Purdue was able to beat the St Mary’s Gaels and Ohio was able to beat Michigan. NC State also beat-up on San Diego State, but they were favoured by the bookies despite being an #11 seed in the tournament. With the 3rd round getting underway this weekend we’ve picked the winner from each game below although we’ve been anything but hot in the 2nd round.

2012 March Madness Midwest Region Predictions (3rd Round)

• #1 North Carolina Tar Heels -9 vs. #8 Creighton Bluejays +9

North Carolina was one of the top seeds to take care of business today. UNC easily beat Vermont 77-58 without Henson, but I’m sure he’s going to be back in the line-up for the rest of the tournament. North Carolina won easily, but there were some points in the game where they looked pretty bad without their big man.

Creighton won 58-57 over Alabama in one of the best 2nd round games today. Alabama had a chance to win the game, but they didn’t get off a clean shot at the buzzer. Creighton played great against Alabama considering Bama has a smothering defence, but I can’t see the Bluejays hanging with the Tar Heels in this one and I think North Carolina should cover the big spread.

• #12 Ohio Bobcats vs. #13 South Florida Bulls

In this match-up we have two high seeds playing each other. Ohio upset #4 seed Michigan while USF upset #5 seed Temple in the 2nd round of the March Madness tournament. Friday was full of surprises and it looked like many of the higher seed teams simply didn’t come to play while the underdogs showed up to play and never let up.

South Florida started the game extremely slow tonight, but they started hitting some timely shots and their defence was great again. Ohio played great defence against Michigan as well and they also have a more potent offence than USF. I think Ohio is going to be able to win this game against the Bulls due to the fact they’ll have the best player on the floor and a great coach.

• #11 NC State Wolfpack +3.5 vs. #3 Georgetown Hoyas -3.5

I was a little worried about NC State since everyone was in love with them in the 2nd round. The Wolfpack proved critics wrong by notching a 79-65 win. Every time it looked like SDSU was going to make a run NC State scored a bucket. Georgetown had no problem beating Belmont today. The Hoyas were up 36-27 by halftime and cruised to a 74-59 victory in the game.

Georgetown is going to be a tough out in the tournament I think. Georgetown controls the ball very well and they don’t take many silly shots, which is always a good thing. Today the Hoyas were able to shoot over 60% from the field against Belmont and if they shoot close to that number against NC State they should win. This is one of the closest games in the 3rd round.

• #10 Purdue Boilermakers vs. #2 Kansas Jayhawks

I was shocked to watch Purdue upset Saint Mary’s tonight. The Boilermakers played a great game and even without Hummel hitting his shot the team was able to put up 72 points in a 72-69 victory. The Gaels had a chance to put the game in OT, but they hoisted up a 3-ball that hit the side of the rim. Kansas beat Detroit 65-50, but it could have been much worse in my opinion.

The #2 seed Jayhawks are going to be a tough out in the Midwest Region. Purdue simply doesn’t have the talent level to stay on the court with Kansas in the next round and Kansas is going to win this game. I expect the Jayhawks to be big favourites when the line is released, but I’d feel safe betting the Jayhawks by up to -9 points in this game, as Purdue is going to have trouble.

What Team Looks the Best?

The Midwest Region has several great teams and any of them could advance to the Final Four. North Carolina has the best team in terms of talent in my opinion, but the Jayhawks are also very talented. Georgetown is a great team, but in my opinion they are a #3 seed in this region and I don’t see them being able to beat the Jayhawks or Tar Heels.

The Elite Eight is set-up nicely and I think Kansas is going to play North Carolina. Whatever team shows up to play and can hit their shots will win the game. UNC relies a bit more on the outside shot than the Jayhawks and after watching shooting teams go down today I’m starting to think Kansas will advance to the Final Four.

In the 3rd round I expect Kansas, Georgetown, Ohio and North Carolina to advance. I’m sure UNC is happy with the way today worked out, as the team will get to play the winner of USF vs. Ohio in the Sweet Sixteen. UNC was really given the best path to the Final Four, as even if Michigan or Temple won today I don’t think either team could compete with the Tar Heels.

There aren’t too many games that I want to watch in this region now except the Elite Eight match-up. I hope we see Kansas and North Carolina. If we do I’m going to be betting on the Jayhawks ML and hopefully I can get +125 or higher. I like the way Kansas moves the ball into the paint and they can also kick it out and drain 3’s, as they went 5 of 16 from 3-point distance tonight.

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