The top overall seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the Louisville Cardinals, receive the perk of landing in the Midwest Region which will culminate in Indianapolis.
The Cardinals, who shared the Big East regular season title and won the conference tournament, open with the winner of the opening round game between Liberty and North Carolina A&T.
Duke, which entered the tournament as the number one team in the RPI, received the two-seed and will begin play in Philadelphia against 15-seed Albany. Rounding out the top four seeds in the region are three-seed Michigan State and four-seed Saint Louis, which won both the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament titles.
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Your Midwest sleeper: Saint Louis, whose skill should not be a secret by now. Interim head coach Jim Crews has done one of the best coaching jobs in the country following the passing of Rick Majerus, and they’ve got experienced players throughout their rotation. The 5/12 matchup also jumps out as Oklahoma State takes on Pac-12 tournament champion Oregon, who may have been under-seeded by the selection committee.
This bracket could provide a matchup of Tom Izzo (Michigan State) and Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) in the Sweet 16, but both teams may face tough games beforehand. The 7/10 matchup between Creighton and Cincinnati will be an interesting match of styles, as the Bluejays will look to run while the rugged Bearcats can’t afford get into offensive shootouts.
Memphis is the six-seed in the Midwest, and they’ll take on the winner of Middle Tennessee and Saint Mary’s in Auburn Hills. Outside of the top three seeds that may be the storyline of this region, as the Blue Raiders were rewarded for their non-conference strength of schedule.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
While there have been some alterations made to North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the years, there haven’t been too many drastic shifts. Of course there was the move to the Alexander Julian-designed argyle print during the 1990’s, and there were also those jerseys in 1999 that had the interlocking “NC” logo as opposed to “North Carolina” on the front.
Friday the program announced a major uniform change for its game against UCLA December 19 in Brooklyn. North Carolina will be wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history. Senior guard Marcus Paige showed off the new look to his teammates, and it’s safe to say that they’re happy with the new uniforms.
Traditionalists probably won’t like the uniforms, and that’s fine. Changes such as these tend to focus more on the younger crowd (especially recruits), which in some instances like the status that can come with having something that’s both new and exclusive.
Two-time defending Big East champion Villanova will be down a man in its front court, as the program announced Friday that freshman forward Tim Delaney will undergo hip surgery. According to the release a torn labrum in Delaney’s left hip is the reason for the surgery, and it has yet to be determined how long the freshman will be sidelined.
“I’m disappointed for Tim,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “Tim had a great summer and preseason. He’s a very coachable young man and was picking up everything we do. The good news is that the doctors tell us this is an injury that can be fixed and we know Tim will be fully committed to his rehab.”
Villanova’s front court rotation will be led by senior Daniel Ochefu, who averaged 9.2 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game in 2014-15. Junior Darryl Reynolds and sophomore Kris Jenkins will also see minutes in the front court, with redshirt freshman guard/forward Mikal Bridges factoring into the competition as well.
Villanova also has Fordham transfer Eric Paschall, but he isn’t eligible to compete in games this season.