Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns

Midwest Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns
#1 Kansas vs. #16 Penn
Kansas is playing their best basketball right now after winning the Big 12 Tournament and eight of their last nine games. It was not long ago it looked the Jayhawks would fail to win the Big 12 regular season, but they rallied late. And that rally will continue against an overmatched Penn squad.
Neither Seton Hall nor North Carolina State are heading into the NCAA Tournament with much momentum. The Pirates have at least been keeping things close though, including a one point loss to Villanova in the regular season finale. The Wolfpack have lost two of their last three games against Georgia Tech and Boston College. Those are pretty bad losses.
This will be a low scoring affair and that might benefit New Mexico State for a little while. The Aggies play great defense and allow just 63.2 points per game. Clemson is not a high scoring team and that means NMSU should be able to stick around and make things interesting. The Aggies are not as big as they have been in years past though and that is an area where Clemson may be able to take advantage of New Mexico State.
#4 Auburn vs. #13 Charleston
Auburn ended up with a share of the SEC title. However, they have lost three of their last four games. The Tigers do have a high scoring offense and are a very good shooting team. Bryce Brown, Mustapha Heron and Jared Harper are all potent scoring guards. Charleston has a couple potent scoring guards of their own, including Joe Chealey and Grant Riller. Chealey averages 18.5 points per game and Grant Riller adds 18.7. If the Cougars can limit their turnovers, which they usually do quite well, they have the talent to push Auburn.
Arizona State and Syracuse both snuck into the NCAA Tournament. The Orange have had success in the past after sneaking into the tournament and will hope to do so again this year. Arizona State was once ranked third in the country, but have fallen off recently. The winner of that game in Dayton will face off against TCU. The high scoring Horned Frogs share the ball very well and have the talent to beat Arizona State or Syracuse. However, preparing for the Syracuse zone defense in two days could prove difficult.
This is a tough matchup for Bucknell. They are a very, very experienced team who went to the NCAA Tournament last year, but the Spartans are an athletic group that should be able to run the Bison out of the gym sooner or later. The Bison do have a great frontcourt duo with Zach Thomas and Nana Foulland, but Michigan State has some shot blockers in Jaren Jackson and Nick Ward who will give the Bucknell frontcourt trouble. This is a Bucknell program that has won a game as a 14 seed, beating Kansas in 2005.
The Rams enter the NCAA Tournament with a 25-7 record. They have an amazing backcourt, led by Jared Terrell and E.C. Matthews. Those two combine to score over 30 points per game. Oklahoma’s Trae Young almost eclipses Terrell and Matthews in the scoring department, averaging 27.4 points per game. This will be a fun game of dominating backcourts. However, Rhode Island has been much better lately.
#2 Duke vs. #15 Iona
Duke has way too much talent for Iona. Grayson Allen’s senior leadership and the talent of their impressive freshmen class will overwhelm the Gaels. Wendell Carter and Marvin Bagley will dominate the paint in this first round matchup. Iona can keep things close though due to their outside shooting. If Rickey McGill, E.J. Crawford, Schadrac Casimir and Deyshonee Much can hit their shots, Iona can stay close to Duke.