Upsets likely in Midwest Region

Budinger & Arizona probably shouldn't be in the NCAA tournament, but don't be shocked if the Cats make some noise.

Budinger & Arizona probably shouldn't be in the NCAA tournament, but don't be shocked if the Cats make some noise.

The South Region is filled with interesting first round matchups.  Here’s a look at several potential upsets:

(12) Arizona over (5) Utah

Arizona made the NCAA tournament despite losing five of the last six games and lacking a quality road win.  Utah won the Mountain West tournament and received a five seed.  I don’t understand the selection process or how exactly the Utes secured a five seed.

Regardless, the matchup is set and figures to produce a close game.  Arizona is much more talented than Utah, and C Jordan Hill’s quickness will give Utah big man Luke Nevill problems.  After hearing just about everyone, including President Barack Obama, criticize its selection to the NCAA tournament, Arizona should have plenty of motivation and focus.

(9) Sienna over (8) Ohio State

Ohio State was seeded very low and finds itself facing an experienced Sienna team.  The Saints made the NCAA tournament last season led by talented guard Kenny Hasbrouck.  Although lacking a quality win, Sienna has played top competition on the road, and hung with both Pitt and Kansas.

The Buckeyes are very young and very inconsistent.  A Sienna win really wouldn’t be much of an upset, and it’s certainly possible.

(11) Dayton over (6) West Virginia

These teams are fairly evenly matched.  Dayton has wins over Marquette, Auburn, and Xavier on the resume and has a deep, athletic squad that should matchup with West Virginia.  Chris Wright and Marcus Johnson average 12 ppg each while playing less than 30 minutes per game.  Johnson is explosive in transition and fun to watch.

West Virginia has talent but lacks a true point guard and is very young.  An upset isn’t overly likely, but is possible.

(10) USC over (7) Boston College

I watched in awe as Boston College stunned North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Jan. 4th.  Even after B.C. beat Duke, I didn’t expect much from the Eagles.

I didn’t expect much from USC either, especially with Lil Romeo not seeing much action.

This game is basically a toss-up.  Tyrese Rice is a great player, but the Trojans probably have more talent.  An upset is possible here.


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