March Madness 2022 – Midwest Region Preview & Picks

Midwest Region preview and betting locks.

Midwest Region Storylines

  • The Midwest is an interesting, yet deep region that has talented lower-seeded teams like Richmond, South Dakota St. and Colgate who are coming in hot and could make some noise past the round of 64, while also sporting teams with legitimate stars like Ochai Agbaji (Kansas), Jabari Smith Jr. (Auburn) and Johnny Davis (Wisconsin)
  • Seven conference champions are represented in the region which should make for some fun battles regardless of seeding
  • Wisconsin and LSU will have some obstacles to overcome if they want to make a run in the tourney, as LSU fired their HC Will Wade on Selection Sunday and Wisconsin’s star Johnny Davis is banged up coming off of the Big Ten tournament

Midwest Region Schedule & Winners

No.1 Kansas vs No.16 Texas Southern (Thursday 9:57 p.m., truTV)

  • Kansas is a perennial March Madness threat and this year is no different, as they are led by Big 12 Player of the Year G Ochai Ogbaji and three other double-digit scorers on an offense that is one of the deepest and most efficient in the country
  • Texas Southern, who is coming off a play-in win against Texas A&M Corpus Christi, made an improbable run to make the Dance after starting the season 0-7 then winning 13 of their last 15 games en route to a SWAC championship – Texas Southern is appearing in their second straight March Madness
  • Winner: Kansas

No.2 Auburn vs No.15 Jacksonville State (Friday 12:40 p.m., truTV)

  • Auburn has one of the best interior defenses in the country fueled by their shot-blocking frontcourt of NBA lottery pick F Jabari Smith Jr. and Defensive Player of the Year finalist C Walker Kessler, but the Tigers are more than capable on the offensive end and will look to bounce back from a stunning round-one exit in the SEC tournament – this season was Auburn’s highest winning percentage since the 1998-99 season
  • Jacksonville State, the Ohio Valley Conference champs, are led by their trio of sharpshooting guards who all shoot over 38% from three – J’ville St. has a massive height disadvantage as only one player who averages 20 minutes per game is taller than 6’3”
  • Winner: Auburn

No.3 Wisconsin vs No.14 Colgate (Friday 9:50 p.m., TBS)

  • Wisconsin is a team made for March, boasting Big Ten Player of the Year G Johnny Davis and Big Ten Coach of the Year Greg Gard while also ranking top 50 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, but they are coming off an utterly embarrassing loss to Nebraska in the Big Ten tournament – Johnny Davis is also nursing a lower-body injury he suffered against Nebraska
  • Colgate is a downright dangerous upset threat, they are deep with upperclassmen and are the second best three-point shooting team in the country (40.1%), not to mention that all five starters averaged double figures in the regular season – the Raiders have also won 19 of their last 20 games
  • Winner: Wisconsin

No.4 Providence vs No. 13 South Dakota State (Thursday 12:40 p.m., truTV)

  • Providence, who won the Big East regular-season title, plays reserved on both sides of the ball and thrives on pounding the rock inside and getting to the foul line, playing around leading scorer C Nate Watson – the Friars are 11-2 in games decided by less than 5 points
  • South Dakota State, the Summit League champs, compensate for their subpar defense by being the country’s best shooting team from behind the arc and have rattled off 21 straight wins, the longest streak in Division I – SDSU has won its first-round game in the past two tournaments
  • Winner: South Dakota State

No.5 Iowa vs No.12 Richmond (Thursday 3:10 p.m., truTV)

  • Iowa has hit their stride at the right time after winning the B1G, and have surrounded star F Keegan Murray with a deep arsenal of shooters that have got the Hawkeyes ranked in the top five in adjusted offensive efficiency – Murray has blossomed this season averaging 23.4 PPG
  • Richmond’s tourney chances looked dull until they turned it around in early March, winning the A-10 championship due in part to their frontcourt of F Tyler Burton and F Grant Golden
  • Winner: Iowa

No.6 LSU vs No.11 Iowa State (Friday 7:20 p.m., TBS)

  • LSU is one of the youngest teams in the tourney and is now coached by inexperienced interim Kevin Nickelberry after the firing of Will Wade, meaning their lack of discipline with the ball could worsen – not all is lost as their scrappy defense and tireless rebounding could take them far
  • Iowa State is powered by their elite defense which is one of the best in the country in terms of adjusted defensive rating while Penn State transfer Izaiah Brockington carries the load on offense, averaging over 17 PPG
  • Winner: Iowa State

No. 7 USC vs No.10 Miami (Friday 3:10 p.m., truTV)

  • USC’s stellar rebounding is no surprise, the Trojans tower over opponents as all but one starter is over 6’9”, but they lack the pace and multi-level scoring a deep tournament run might require
  • Miami is nearly the polar opposite of USC which should make for a fun matchup, as the Canes thrive on guard play, but are in the bottom 15% in rebound rate
  • Winner: USC

No.8 San Diego State vs No.9 Creighton (Thursday 7:27 p.m., truTV)

  • SDSU might have the best defense in the tournament, ranking first in the country in defensive efficiency and second in scoring defense, but heavily rely on G Matt Bradley to carry the load on offense
  • Likewise, Creighton’s strong defense and rebounding has fueled their success in a loaded Big East, the only question is can their sometimes-weak offense outperform San Diego State’s
  • Winner: Creighton