NCAA Tournament 2010: Midwest Regional Prediction

March 17, 2010

The Midwest Regional features the consensus Tournament favorite, a talented Player of the Year candidate from the Big Ten, and another talented big man in the great Georgetown tradition.

Here is our prediction:

#16 Lehigh: Lehigh will go bye bye quietly against a far superior Kansas team.

#15 California Santa Barbara: UCSB and star Orlando Johnson will put a major scare into the Buckeyes before Mr. Do-Everything Evan Turner restores order.

#14 Ohio: The other Ohio team almost pulls off a huge stunner, but sweet-passing Greg Monroe and the Hoyas wake up in time to pull off a much closer than expected 8-point win.

#13 Houston: Ladies and gentlemen, the Cinderella Team of the 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament will be . . . the Houston Cougars. Tom Penders knows how to get the job done, and has proven it again by leading his eighth different team into the Tourney. This edition, although weak on paper, is long on grit and tenacity. They also have some firepower in Aubrey Coleman, the nation's leading scorer. Such attributes will be key in the Cougars' improbable run to the Sweet Sixteen before they bow out to a stronger, longer, and faster Kansas team.

#12 New Mexico State: Probably the most unheralded 22-win team in the entire draw, the Aggies will make everyone sit up and take notice by disposing of higher-seeded Michigan State with relative ease. Unfortunately for Aggies fans, NMSU will come up just short in the second round's Cinderella Ball, as the slipper fits the Cats from Houston just a bit better.

#11 San Diego State: The upsets continue in what will prove to be the most unpredictable region of all, as the Aztecs jump all over a sloppy and uninspired Tennessee team. By the time Bruce Pearl's Vols have woken up and the dust has settled, they will find themselves heading back to Knoxville. Look for Aztec freshman Kawhi Leonard, a former Los Angeles Times City Player of the Year, to give the Vols' D fits.

#10 Georgia Tech: Paul Hewitt seemingly has never been able to coax the best out of his talented group of youngsters, but they finally come together to knock off the Cowboys in a mild upset before falling to Evan Turner and the Buckeyes in the second round.

#9 Northern Iowa: Jordan Eglseder and Adam Koch are too much for the Runnin' Rebels in round one, but the Panthers then find themselves outmatched and outclassed when they run into a Kansas team with superior talent.

#8 Nevada Las Vegas: UNLV's solid D will not put them into the second round, as they will eventually succumb to Northern Iowa's size and physicality. A big game from UCLA transfer and former LA City Player of the Year Chace Stanback could be just the boost the Rebels need.

#7 Oklahoma State: Similar to their self-proclaimed most famous alum Doug Gottlieb, the Cowboys are not good enough to get it done, dropping out on the Tourney's second day.

#6 Tennessee: Bruce Pearl never has been able to keep his teams on an even keel, and this season's campaign has proven to be no exception, as another topsy-turvy Tennessee team will end the year on a low point, bowing out to a much hungrier team from San Diego State.

#5 Michigan State: Not even notoriously tough Tom Izzo could coax another late run into March out of Kalin Lucas and crew, as they take it on the chin from New Mexico State.

#4 Maryland: Gary Williams will be sweating buckets watching his team get run out of the gym by an unheralded Houston squad. Nevertheless, expect a stellar performance from guard Greivis Vasquez in defeat.

#3 Georgetown: The Hoyas acquit themselves rather well by beating Ohio and then San Diego State handily. In the Sweet 16 however, the dream ends, as Georgetown falls to the Evan Turner-led Buckeyes.

#2 Ohio State: Basketball World, meet Evan Turner. In what will amount to his three-week introduction to the mainstream sports world, Turner will become a household name by making an awe-inspiring run to the Final Four.

#1 Kansas: Everything will be going according to plan until Cole Aldrich, Sherron Collins, and the Jayhawks run into Turner, who is simply not to be denied this year.

Eventual Regional Champion: OHIO STATE

By Kweku Turkson
Staff Reporter for

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