2022 Men's Basketball NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Overview

Midwest Regional Overview
Claps and fervent dancing came from the Kansas film room. They secured a #1 seed, marking themselves as a favorite to win it all. But throughout the regional, there were interesting matches and must-watch games. Kansas may have a tough time, and the depth of the Midwest affirms this. From a clinical Providence and a defensively-adept SDSU to a physical Creighton, and sleeper candidates Iowa State, the Midwest Regional will be a regional to pay attention to. 
Who Can Win?
Kansas has the best odds of advancing, and with good reason. A 12-5 Q1 record and near-perfect record everywhere else (16-1 against Q2, Q3, and Q4 opponents combined) means that Kansas will not slip up against worse opposition. They consistently show they can get it done against the cream of the crop, as evidenced by their impressive regular season and postseason. If Kansas slips up, Auburn and Wisconsin look the most likely to advance to the Final Four.
Who Can Surprise?
Providence made headlines with their clutch play and consistency in the Big East. Although Creighton shocked the Friars and blew them out, they still offer a tough time against teams. They get up after a punch to the face, and it will take a lot to knock Providence out of the game. Pulling away early and denying the Friars a chance to come back like they always do will give South Dakota State a chance to advance.
Who’s Hot?
Kansas took the Big 12 championship with scintillating play. They trumped West Virginia and TCU by double digits and safely beat Texas Tech by 9. Adding their 28-6 overall record, red-hot scoring form, and physicality when they crash the boards, you can bet on Kansas continuing their impressive streak.
Who’s Cold?
Auburn was on an exciting train, complete with a dominant offense, frustrating defense, and wins galore, until it was suddenly stopped in the SEC Tournament. Eventual tournament finalists Texas A&M beat them by five, raising questions about whether an upset could be in store. With such a surprising end to the SEC Tournament, there will be doubts as Auburn takes the court in Greenville. But if Auburn keeps their cool against Jacksonville State, you can count on them to advance to the round of 32.
Upset Alert!
Iowa State started hot, lost all their momentum some months later, but regained form to lock in an #11 seed in the Midwest. With Izaiah Brockington, one of the Big 12’s best, they have the potential to knock off an LSU still reeling from controversy and could forge a deep run into the postseason. Richmond, with their disciplined play and balanced team play, could shock some against Keegan Murray’s Iowa as well.
What Possible Matchup is Interesting?
Of course, a Kansas-Auburn matchup would be fascinating beyond belief. A Kansas team that could potentially win it all facing an Auburn side that ruled the college basketball world. It would be a star-studded matchup too, with Agbaji, Jabari Smith, Christian Braun, and Walker Kessler facing off.
Which Player Will Dominate?
Unstoppable scorer Ogbai Agbaji was not named the Big 12 player of the year for nothing. He is a natural scorer who can shoot accurately is hard to get by on defense. And as we saw with his viral dunk over TCU, he is freakishly athletic. Agbaji is a well-rounded player that Kansas can depend on for consistent points.
Which System is Tough to Prepare For?
San Diego State’s rigid defensive structure will undoubtedly frustrate Creighton, who is average on offense. They rank second in Kenpom’s adjusted defense ratings and allow just 57.7 points. To break through against this team requires relentless pressure and penetration into the paint. Creighton themselves place great emphasis on physicality, crashing the boards and fouling a lot. If Creighton wins the battle for rebounds, Creighton have more opportunity to control the game, which is something SDSU don’t want.