2023 March Madness Preview and Predictions: Midwest Region

2023 March Madness Preview and Predictions: Midwest Region


2023 March Madness Preview and Predictions: Midwest Region


Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Next region up is the Midwest. This region will probably end up being chalky, outside of one potential dark horse that can be enough to make a small Cinderella story. 


First Round Upsets

Just like the East region, there aren’t many low seed teams that, I think, will take down the higher seeds, but some teams have the ceiling to do so. Drake can be a scary team as a 12 seed going against Miami. The Hurricanes are a solid team, but they play in the ACC with a lot of middling teams. They have a solid resume and are fantastic offensively, but offense isn’t everything. Their defense is very poor, which could end up killing them. Drake doesn’t have the best resume either, playing in the Missouri Valley Conference, but they are respected as a small division team for a reason. This team could surprise some people and while it isn’t an official upset play, they have a solid chance to beat Miami.


The Favorites

1 Houston

Outside of their conference championship loss to Memphis, Houston has essentially been unbeatable. On top of being impossible to score on, only allowing 56.5 points per game, and they average 75 points per game on the offensive end. They have a huge team that dominates the glass, so until they face a team that can match up with them downlow, every game should be a cakewalk. They’ll make the final four and are currently the favorite to win the tournament, and for good reason. 


2 Texas

Texas has one of the best resumes in all of college basketball and pretty much owned the Big-12 outside of a few tough losses. They are very efficient on both sides of the ball; however, they struggle from the perimeter. Although they have a good team, I think they face an early exit. Starting from 15 seeded Colgate, who honestly has the best shot out of the 15 seeds to make the second round, any game Texas plays will be a very close one. If they get past Colgate, I think they lose in round two, especially if they end up against the most underrated team in the tournament with Texas A&M. 

3 Xavier

One of the best offenses in the nation in a loaded Big East conference should be no slouch in the tournament. They average 81.4 points per game, however, where they lack is defensively. They can either make a deep run, or lose very early. It’s a game by game basis to see which Xavier team comes to play. They aren’t very deep, so if the starters aren’t hot, then they could fall early. 


The Dark Horses

4 Indiana

Indiana is a team in the tournament that I have no idea where to rank. I slotted them as a dark horse because they definitely can be one IF they wanted to. But it is a pretty big if. They are excellent on both offense and defense, especially being led by star center Trayce Jackson-Davis (TJD). With TJD leading the charge in the mid-range/post, they’re pretty scary to play against. However, if they play a team that shoots the three ball well, we could see an upset down the road. They play a gritty Kent State team that plays aggressively and can force a lot of turnovers. They play close to their opponents, and this could be a game that requires the final shot to move on. 


7 Texas A&M

You know that sleeper team I mentioned earlier. Well, that team is Texas A&M. The Aggies have reached the Sweet 16 in their last two tournaments, including a comeback I’ll never forget that can be seen here. The SEC is a loaded and underrated conference in the tournament, and the Aggies have the resume that says sleeper across it. They beat Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn, and Missouri and almost every other competition in the SEC. They are everything you want in a dark horse and more. They are fantastic on the glass as well as at the free throw line, which are key statistics in the tournament.



7 Texas A&M

The closest team to a Cinderella is Texas A&M, but it is hard to even consider them as one because they are probably better than most teams you would call a Cinderella. However, I have the Aggies going very far in the tournament, all the way to the Elite Eight, so I think it is a fair assessment to have them here. They are only +470 on the Betfred Sportsbook to reach that far in the tournament, which is a testament to how underrated Vegas thinks they are. 


Region Winner Prediction: 1 Houston (+120)

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