Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Midwest 2nd Round Game Breakdowns

2014 NCAA Tournament Midwest 2nd Round Game Breakdowns


#1 Wichita State vs. #16 Cal Poly / Texas Southern (Saint Louis, Missouri)

As amazing as Cal Poly has been during their improbable run through the Big West Tournament, the good times could come to an end in Dayton against Texas Southern. The Tigers boast Aaric Murray, a dominating center, who averages 21.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Poly has had success against big centers this year, most notably UC Irvine, but Murray is an offensive force too. Whoever wins in Dayton will take their one win and be happy. Wichita State will have interesting games, but not here.


#8 Kentucky vs. #9 Kansas State (Saint Louis, Missouri)

This game will be entirely about who shows up for Kentucky. The team lacks maturity with five freshmen in the starting lineup. This team has been up and down all year long and whether or not they can get up for the NCAA Tournament is a big question. Kansas State does rely on a few freshmen, most notably Marcus Foster, but unlike the Wildcats of the Kentucky variety, the Wildcats of Kansas State have a senior leader in Will Spradling.


#5 Saint Louis vs. #12 North Carolina State / Xavier (Orlando, Florida)

It is tough to figure out what to think about North Carolina State right now. They did win four straight before falling to Duke in the ACC Tournament. And T.J. Warren can carry this team to at least the Sweet Sixteen. He comes into the NCAA Tournament averaging 24.8 points per game and there may not be much Xavier can do about him. Saint Louis’ defense could give Warren more trouble. The Billikens are the type of team that can contain big scorers and make others beat them. North Carolina State does not have anybody else who can beat Saint Louis.


#4 Louisville vs. #13 Manhattan (Orlando, Florida)

Manhattan is playing very good basketball right now and has three great seniors in Michael Alvarado, George Beamon and Rhamel Brown. Those are three great MAAC players. However, Louisville is under-seeded by a spot or two or three and Manhattan could just as easily be a #14 seed. Manhattan is a fine team, but the matchup did not work out well for them. If you’re looking for a big upset, look elsewhere.


#6 Massachusetts vs. #11 Iowa / Tennessee (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Massachusetts will be a popular pick to lose to either Iowa or Tennessee. For starters, it is not 1992, and secondly, the Minutemen have been struggling lately, losing three of their last five. But speaking of recent struggles, Iowa has lost six of their last seven games. And that includes losses to Illinois, Indiana and Northwestern. Tennessee is certainly the team playing better basketball right now. They won five straight before falling to Florida by a score of 56-49 in the SEC Tournament.


#3 Duke vs. #14 Mercer (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Two years ago Mercer won the CIT. Last year they beat Tennessee in the NIT. This year the senior heavy squad has a great opportunity to knock off Duke. Not only is it always fun to pick against Duke, but this is also a nice matchup for the Bears. Duke does not have the bruising interior presence that Mercer struggles with and that is a good sign. This is a team that has played some quality opposition back in November and December and fared relatively well. They lost at Texas by three and at Oklahoma by six. They did beat Seton Hall and Ole Miss. But Duke is Duke and Jabari Parker could have another big game.


#7 Texas vs. #10 Arizona State (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

The young Longhorns of Texas have been extremely inconsistent, but if the right team shows up, they could make quick work of Arizona State. The problem is the young backcourt can shoot themselves right out of a game just as easily. Arizona State, meanwhile, has a smart point guard in Jahii Carson. The Sun Devils also boast one of the top shot blockers in nation. Jordan Bachynski does not just average 4.1 blocks per game, but he also scores 11.1 points per game and adds 8.3 rebounds.


#2 Michigan vs. #15 Wofford (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

While Michigan has had another great year, this is a younger team than they had during the 2013 NCAA Tournament. However, that will not cause any problems against Wofford. The Terriers win games with their defense and can make things interesting for a little while against Michigan. But junior guard Karl Cochran better be knocking down his shots consistently.


Midwest Regional Overview


South Regional Overview

South Region 2nd Round Game Breakdowns


West Regional Overview

West Region 2nd Round Game Breakdowns


East Regional Overview

East Region 2nd Round Game Breakdowns


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