Midwest Region Predictions

By John Akers, Special to Yahoo! Sports
Yahoo! SportsMarch 12, 2007

Regional predictions: Midwest | West | East | South | Final Four/Championship


Midwest Region
Bracket | Overview | Upset specials
And the winner is... Florida
Gator grins
Can anyone stop the Gators in the Midwest? Probably not, though there are a few who could challenge. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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1. Florida over 16. Jackson State
Let's pretend that a No. 16-over-a-defending-champ is a possibility worth contemplating. Then, when the Gators put stopper Corey Brewer on big-time Jackson scorer Trey Johnson, where do the Tigers go?

8. Arizona over 9. Purdue
The Wildcats have issues, but they also have a talented quartet of players, which trumps the Boilermakers and super-solid Carl Landry.

5. Butler over 12. Old Dominion
It's Bracket Busters Thursday – NCAA tournament division – and the winner will be the guys who beat a few ranked teams along the way.

4. Maryland over 13. Davidson
Here's one that could hit the hundreds. Gary Williams could sweat through three sets of suits worrying about freshman Stephen Curry and the Wildcats' 3-point shooters.

6. Notre Dame over 11. Winthrop
Tempting. Extremely tempting, but Notre Dame is a deceptively solid 6 seed. This battle of wills between the high-scoring Irish and defense-first Eagles figures to be one of the best of the opening round.

3. Oregon over 14. Miami (Ohio)
Interesting. The Ducks play like they're on Red Bull. The RedHawks play like they're on NyQuil, in a good way. Red Bull wins.

10. Georgia Tech over 7. UNLV
A battle of outstanding backcourts: Outstanding freshman Javaris Crittenton and the Yellow Jackets win.

2. Wisconsin over 15. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
If one were dead set on picking a 15 over a 2, this is the one. The Islanders are well-coached and have a quality 7-footer in Chris Daniels, but the Badgers are nobody's victims.


1. Florida over 8. Arizona
This is a 1 vs. 8 game with potential. It could also end up like North Carolina's 28-point victory over the Wildcats, but it has potential.

4. Maryland over 5. Butler
This is the end of a dream for Butler, the Hickory High (think: "Hoosiers") of this season and tournament field.

6. Notre Dame over 3. Oregon
Note to CBS programmers: Schedule this one for late night and no one will fall asleep. Just curious: Who else thinks Notre Dame freshman Luke Harangody looks like Charlie Weis' little brother?

2. Wisconsin over 10. Georgia Tech
When in doubt, go with seniors such as All-American forwards Alando Tucker and Kammron Taylor over a freshman-junior group such as the Yellow Jackets.


1. Florida over 4. Maryland
Players pressing all over the floor. Billy Donovan stalking the sidelines, unruffled. Gary Williams sweating through more suits. Should be a lot of fun.

2. Wisconsin over 6. Notre Dame
It's not football, but thousands of Wisconsin and Notre Dame fans will drive side-by-side along I-55, feeding into St. Louis, anyway, to see a potential classic that just might convert them.


1. Florida over 2. Wisconsin
To continue on a first-round theme, where do the Badgers (minus injured big man Brian Butch) go when the Gators put Corey Brewer on All-American forward Alando Tucker?