We preview this week's 2010 NCAA tournament by first taking a look at each of the regional brackets. Working our way from east to west, next up the Midwest regional.
Here is the Midwest Bracket:
(1) Kansas vs. (16) Lehigh
(8) UNLV vs. (9) Northern Iowa
(5) Michigan State vs. (12) New Mexico State
(4) Maryland vs. (13) Houston
(6) Tennessee vs. (11) San Diego State
(3) Georgetown vs. (14) Ohio
(7) Oklahoma St. vs. (10) Georgia Tech
(2) Ohio State vs. (15) UC Santa Barbara
Best First-Round Matchup
Brian: I'm going to have to go with BC Guy Bruce Pearl and his 6 seeded Volunteers as they go up against the 11 seeded San Diego State Aztecs. SDSU is coming off an upset of New Mexico in the Mountain West final, while Tennessee is coming off a 74-45 drubbing at the hands of the Kentucky Wildcats. Pearl will likely have the Vols ready to go and out for blood in this one. Pomeroy predicts a 1 point Volunteer win, but this one is pretty much a toss up.
Jeff: As an ACC guy, I'm looking to see if Georgia Tech can continue their ACC Tournament run with a win over Oklahoma State. Georgia Tech has the talent but likes to turn the ball over 20+ times a game and make an additional 10+ dumb plays that never show up on the stat sheet. Therefore, the "best" first-round matchup will also be the most frustrating to watch because I have Gerogia Tech winning in my bracket. Hopefully I won't throw anything at the TV.
Matchup We'd Most Like To See
Jeff: This region is loaded as everyone has been talking about. You can see Maryland-Michigan State in the second round and once you get to the sweet 16 both games could be the best of the entire round. Once again though, with my ACC bias, I want to see Maryland play Kansas. Maryland comes across as one of those teams that plays better in the big spotlight and they'll get exactly that in this tournament. They could knock off the Jayhawks or should at least give them a tough game.
Brian: It can happen early in the tournament, but I really want to see #7 Georgia Tech go up against #2 Ohio State. The Big Ten champs have now won 7 straight, and Georgia Tech had a nice little run in the ACC Tournament. Ohio State is the better team here, but I think Georgia Tech's athletic front court can make this matchup very interesting.
Trendy Bandwagon Pick
Brian: I'm going to hedge in my brackets by advancing #4 Maryland to the second round, but watch out for 5 seeded Michigan State. Remember that Tom Izzo's squad started the season 9-0 in conference play. The reason you haven't heard much about them is due to their first round Big Ten tournament exit to Minnesota in overtime. Other than a curious early season loss to North Carolina in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, the Spartans boast a fairly strong resume and they may be a bit underseeded a s a 5.
Jeff: Probably Tennessee is the lower seed that everyone will be picking to make a somewhat deep run in this region. Tennessee beat both Kansas and Kentucky when they were ranked #1 this season so they are certainly capable of beating the best.
The Sleeper Pick
Brian: I like both Georgia Tech to win their opening round matchup against Oklahoma State and give Ohio State a scare this weekend.
Jeff: New Mexico State might be able to get past Michigan State and if they do, I wouldn't be shocked to see a Maryland letdown.
Second Round: Kansas, Northern Iowa, Michigan State, Maryland, San Diego St, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Ohio State
Sweet 16: Kansas, Maryland, Georgetown, Ohio State
Elite 8: Kansas, Ohio State
Final Four Pick: Kansas
Second Round: Kansas, Northern Iowa, Michigan State, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Ohio State
Sweet 16: Kansas, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia Tech
Elite 8: Kansas, Georgia Tech
Final Four Pick: Kansas (I always seem to pick Kansas, and it always seems to come back to burn me)