Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

bracket talk

NCAA Tournament: Bracket talk for the Midwest Region

Antonya English, Brian Landman, Greg Auman, Izzy Gould and Bob Putnam, Times staff writers

Why is Louisville the overall No. 1 seed?

Pittsburgh and Connecticut were ranked No. 1 during the season, but Louisville has the biggest No. 1 of all. What do we like about the Cardinals? It starts with defense, both inside and out, as they rank in the top 10 nationally in steals and blocks. And if you're looking for well-rounded players, able to score, rebound and assist with equal comfort, you won't find many to rival 6-9 Earl Clark and 6-6 Terrence Williams.

Did Arizona deserve to get in?

Arizona's streak is alive at 25 years in the NCAA Tournament, despite the Wildcats losing five of their last six and having a lackluster 19-13 record and a woeful RPI. Two top-10 wins — over then-No. 4 Gonzaga and then-No. 6 UCLA — helped Arizona's case, but the Wildcats will have something to prove against fifth-seeded Utah.

How many Fargo references will we hear?

Yes, North Dakota State made the NCAA Tournament in its first year eligible after transitioning from Division II. Did you know the Bison made the Division II tournament eight times, most recently in '97, but never made it past the region final?

The second-round matchup we like best

Opening weekend showdowns don't get much better than third-seeded Kansas and sixth-seeded West Virginia, two well-coached teams who lost to Syracuse in overtime. Kansas lost two of its last three and probably dropped in the seedings because of it; West Virginia took four losses to Louisville and Connecticut, none by more than six points. Watch out for the Mountaineers and freshman forward Devin Ebanks.

NCAA Tournament: Bracket talk for the Midwest Region

03/15/09 [Last modified: Sunday, March 15, 2009 11:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Orioles, with Cobb on hill, Beckham in lineup


    UPDATE, 3:46: After sitting out Thursday in recovering from extraction of a tooth, former Rays SS Tim Beckham is in the Orioles lineup tonight for his first game against his ex-mates, batting leadoff and playing short.

  2. Bucs defensive end Chris Baker (90) is seen during training camp last month at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs' defensive attributes in opener included flexibility


    TAMPA — It's a blink-and-you-miss-it nuance, but in Sunday's opener against Chicago, on their very first defensive snap, the Bucs lined up in a 3-4 defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter shakes hands with cornerback Brent Grimes (24) before an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  4. Bucs-Vikings: What if O.J. Howard and Dalvin Cook had both been taken?


    So what if the Bucs had taken neither O.J. Howard nor Dalvin Cook with the 19th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft?

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) makes a reception as Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) tackles him Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Wish the Bucs had taken Dalvin Cook? Read this


    It will happen sometime Sunday afternoon.

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball in the second quarter Monday night, Sept. 11, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.  (Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)