NCAA March Madness Fantasy Preview:
Midwest Region Preview
A day after the finalization of this year’s long awaited March Madness Bracket, the 68 teams have been announced and FanPicks is proud to bring you a little insight information in this NCAA March Madness fantasy preview of the Midwest region’s top teams and players.
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Surprisingly, Virginia got the # 1 seed in the region despite losing against UNC in the ACC final. This is the 2nd time in its last 3 seasons that the Cavaliers get the top seed. However, it’s Michigan State that everyone had in mind to take the # 1 seed after the Big Ten dominance and win against Purdue.
Utah will rely on their 7 foot giant center Jakob Poeltl, a potential NBA prospect averaging a whopping 17.6 pts per game with 9 boards and almost 2 blocks per game. He will be one of the players to watch in that division. Gonzaga’s front court will be feared as well by Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis, the son of NBA Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis.
Top Players to watch:
- Denzel Valentine:
Easily one of the favourites to win the national player of the year award, Valentine almost had a triple double in the final against Purdue and will most likely play solid in the tournament. No surprise here, he’s the most feared player in the division
- Jakob Poeltl
The Center will play his lights out in order to hope having his name called out in the NBA draft in June. Look out for him to play at his maximum potential and Utah facing up against Michigan State in the Regionals.
- Georges Niang
Niang, a problem to guard for every teams and this will surely continue. He’s second in scoring just behind Buddy Hield averaging 19.8 pts per game.
- Malcom Brogdon
The ACC player of the year and Defensive player of the year can change a game and will be a force for the top seed Cavaliers.
- A.J. English
Not someone that we hear a lot about but he actually ranks in the top 10 nationwide in scoring with 22.4 pts per game for Iona. He will show people his talent and hopefully his team follows his lead.
- A.J. Hammons
Compared in many ways to the future hall of famer Tim Duncan, his dominance in the front court as well as his emotionless demeanour won’t go unnoticed.
Team to watch out for:
Purdue surely hasn’t digested its loss against the Big Ten Champions Spartans. Only 2 bad possessions made the difference in that game and the Boilermakers are actually considered to be contenders for the national title. Statistically speaking, most national champions hover around ranking in the late top 20s with a few exceptions. Purdie actually ranks 21st nationwide in Offense and 18th in Defense. With questionably the best front court in the country with A.J. Hammons leading the charge, Isaac Haas the 7 foot coming off the bench and Caleb Swanigan, their depth can keep them in any game while overpowering their opponents.
First round upset possibilty:
In any tournament, there’s a surprise and it usually comes from a team perfectly matching up against another. In this first round case, Iona matches up perfectly against Iowa St. If they shoot well beyond the arc and Hammons does his usual scoring job, they are an magnificent threat for the Cyclones.