Get your brackets ready, brush up on your basketball knowledge, and identify your upset picks because it’s officially time for March Madness! The Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament has been revealed, with the Houston Cougars earning the number one overall seed.
This region has the potential to deliver this year’s cinderella team to the Final Four, and we’ve got the breakdown on some early sleepers and dark horses to come out of the Midwest.
March Madness 2023: Midwest Region
Sleeper: No. 7 Texas A&M
Does the committee have a grudge against the Aggies? After missing out on the big dance a season ago, Texas A&M was questionably given the seventh seed after finishing second in the SEC and making it to the conference championship, only to fall to top-seeded Alabama. Granted, the Crimson Tide are one of the top teams in the nation, and yet don’t forget that the Aggies slayed that dragon in the regular season finale via a hard-fought 67-61 win.
A&M is one of the best teams in the nation at both getting to the charity stripe and converting their free-throw attempts. In reality, this sleeper title may come down to the winner between the Aggies and No. 10 Penn State as these two have been playing their best basketball down the stretch. But don’t overlook the Aggies like the committee apparently did with their seeding.
Darkhorse: No. 9 Auburn
For the fourth time in five seasons, Bruce Pearl has led the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament as they face the No. 8 seed Iowa. If they knock off the Hawkeyes they’ll be rewarded with a date versus No. 1 Houston, who just fell to Memphis in the AAC Championship. The interesting factor working in their favor is location, as Auburn does not have to leave the state for the first two rounds of the tournament, with their first pair of games being played in Birmingham, Alabama.
With a potentially heavy turnout of fans at their disposal, the Tigers could have an unofficial home-court advantage through the first two rounds, setting up a possible path toward a Sweet 16 appearance and perhaps even beyond.