2014 Midwest Region Forum

Please don’t tell me that the Selection Committee randomly places teams. Three of last year’s Final Four in the same bracket? Potential Louisville/Kentucky and Duke/Michigan match-ups in the Elite Eight? Come on.

I can’t see Wichita State surviving this bracket. Most models see Louisville taking them out. At least one likes Kentucky to do the trick. On the other side of the bracket, it would seem that Duke and Michigan are on a collision course in Indy. But a big, physical Texas squad could give the Wolverines trouble. And Tennessee has much better efficiency numbers than their seed indicates.

Why in the heck are Iowa and Tennessee in the play-in game?

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24 Responses to 2014 Midwest Region Forum

  1. John says:

    I could see Duke going elite 8 or losing to Tenn

    Really close to pulling the trigger on Tenn

    • Ryan Tressler says:

      hard to pick against Duke that early with a player like Parker, but in my bracket that I am going for the billion, I actually have Tennessee picked over Duke . . . if Tennessee loses their play-in game though, this will be getting adjusted, haha

      • Bullets-and-Blazers!! says:

        I am going for the billion too. It would be nice to have a chat room on this website to have live discussion. I like your pick on Tenn over Duke. It should be noted that RARELY, two teams outside their conference that met in the regular season will face each other again in march (Duke vs Michigan, Kentucky vs Louisville).

  2. Jared says:

    For some reason I have this gut feeling of Michigan making some noise.

    • John says:

      I can see it Ballein is a great coach and they have a stud guard.

      • Mark Barr says:

        I agree on Michigan… I think this is the bracket that gets cra

        • Mark Barr says:

          zy and Michigan and Wichita St benefit. Louisville has played 4 tough teams all year (UNC, Memphis, Kentucky, Cincy) and LOST them ALL! I don’t get all they hype. Louis loses to Xavier / NC State winner. Tennessee is built to beat Duke and will… that leaves a re-focused Michigan and Wichita St. in the Elite 8

  3. Dee says:

    I see TN beating Duke.

    Why is the Tenn/Iowa game so late Wednesday night?

    What time do they play for sure?

  4. Bullets-and-Blazers!! says:

    I initially had 14 Mercer over 3 Duke but with talk to Andy I am going to eliminate that upset potential. Duke’s interior defense is questionable but their perimeter defense is great (and further proven that they defeated Michigan and held Michigan’s 3-points to 23%). Granted, they should’ve lost to Vermont, but it was Vermont’s frontcourt player that did the most damage. Mercer has production from their guards and their big men are mediocre. No 14 seed over 3 seed here. But I do see 13 Manhattan over 4 Louisville (it isn’t march madness until a 13 seed triump over a 4 seed). They match louisville very well (Beamnon vs Smith and Brown vs Harrell). Coach Mansiello was an apprentice to Pitino (both as a player and as an assistant coach). Furthermore, the selection committee intentionally match them up for that reason and if you saw the question that CBS asked to that Wake Forest AD (about why Louisville is seeded to low), he FAILED TO ANSWER THE QUESTION!!!!!!!!! Outside from Smith and Harrell, who else does Louisville has (Hancock has been inconsistent and so is Van Treese). Smith wants to avoid injury for the NBA draft so don’t expect him to put that much as he accomplish more than enough to get drafted on the first round.

  5. Andy says:

    This is the toughest regional to pick a winner. I know this, it won’t be Wichita State, but Kentucky isn’t tough enough to beat them. Louisville is just way too good though to lose in the first couple rounds, though I really like St. Louis to go down quickly to probably Xavier but in that round regardless of opponent. Both Louisville and Wichita State are saddled with weak SOS’s, and neither beat a team I even have in the Sweet 16.. Louisville’s talent will be too much, but since their non-conference was so weak and they lost their only two tough games in there, I can’t pull the trigger even though they are #2 by Ken Pomeroy and Jeff Sagarin.

    Michigan is a shaky 2 seed due to weak defense and weak rebounding, but no way they miss the Sweet 16. I know Duke’s defense is sketchy, but they have a likely All-American in Jabari Parker and even if Tennessee or Iowa advances (which I think will happen, I HATE UMass’s numbers), I can’t go with another upset, especially with both teams sporting very bad luck.

    Beilein might make it a close game with Duke, but the Blue Devils are just too talented to lose in a shootout. I actually really hate taking Duke to the Final Four, but after looking at everyone closely in this crazy regional, I can’t come up with a better choice. One solace I take is whoever wins will lose quickly to Arizona.

  6. matteo ferro says:

    Hey Peter Tiernan, you have been so helpful in making my decisions easier for this very unpredictable year. I was wondering when your where going to present the statistical final four and champ picks. Thank you very much.

    • ptiernan says:

      Model #2 in the “2014 Models Wave 3″ link of the TIPS+ section.

      • matteo ferro says:

        Sorry, I wasn’t very clear on my previous post. I am looking for the list of all teams that
        passed your final four/champ criteria.

        • Gary Diny says:


          Look at the models and the short write up prior to the filled out bracket.
          In the short paragraph describing the strategy behind the model, it lists the criteria, then after the outlook lists the teams by region.

  7. Bob says:

    Wichita State is disciplined, well-coached, efficient– basically everything that Kentucky is not. However, Kentucky clearly has superior talent, especially in the low post. How are the Shockers going to contain Randle, Cauley-Stein, and Poythress? I currently have Wichita State winning this just because I trust them more than I do Kentucky, but it’s hard for me to think that Wichita State can outplay a team like Kentucky.

    Furthermore, why are we so sure to expect that Louisville will beat the winner of the Wichita State/Kentucky game. Wichita State almost had that game won last year before a Hancock barrage of threes, and I’d say Wichita State is better this year, while Louisville is slightly worse, especially without Siva and Dieng. Additionally, Kentucky beat Louisville earlier this year with Randle hurt for a lot of the game and during an uninspiring stretch of the season for Kentucky.

    1) How can Wichita State contain Kentucky’s talent, especially in the post?
    2) Why won’t the winner of that game beat Louisville?

  8. John says:

    Who do y’all have coming out of this region to the final four?

    How bout the rest of your final fours??

  9. Jared says:


  10. Paul says:

    CHAMP GAME: Kentucky over Duke. I’m going with talent to trump all in this region. People who say the teams at the top have flaws are right. Louisville has lost to the good teams they played. Michigan is good not great. Wichita is totally unproven in this spot. (a high seed) St Louis and UMass are hideous right now.

    UPSET ALERT: I’ll take Manhattan, (isn’t that a song?) Tennessee, (Iowa wasn’t even in it against Northwestern!) and NC State in round 1. I agree this is the bracket that falls apart at the top just as the Gonzaga bracket did a year ago.

    TV talking heads call this the toughest bracket with Louisville the winner crying about the injustice of a 4 seed. They couldn’t be more wrong. Sure its all the blue bloods with the big names but if you dig there are a lot of question marks. This isn’t last years Louisville or Michigan and Duke didn’t win any titles. Kentucky isn’t a great pick they have enough of their own flaws but they finished well and I am hoping the 1 point loss to Florida is a confidence builder.

    • Jared says:

      Tennessee is ranked 11 on KenPom and has look really good pre-tourney. I know this would be the biggest longshot of all time but do you think that Tenn can make and Elite 8/Fianl 4 run? They match-up nicely with Duke and Michigan.

      • Paul says:

        Jared I agree Tennessee is playing well but I hate to push an 11 seed too far. And if you think Tenn is playing well then you might just go with Kentucky who is playing better.

  11. Dave says:

    I’ve decided the winner of Michigan vs. Duke will win it all… what do you guys think? I’m a Michigan fan… ughh

    • larry k says:

      for me personally, many better teams to have making deep runs in this bracket… in fact, if somehow Mich manages to beat Duke (which i doubt), they will lose in their very next game….

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