NCAA Midwest Region capsules

  • Updated: March 17, 2013 - 8:12 PM

[1] LOUISVILLE VS. [16] LIBERTY/N.C. A&T

Thursday in Lexington, Ky.

CARDINALS (29-5)

Coach: Rick Pitino.

Entry: Big East champion.

Key player: Gorgui Dieng (10.0 ppg, 9.9 rpg).

Notable: The Cardinals, a Final Four team in 2012, are on a 10-game winning streak, having won every game since their epic five-overtime loss at Notre Dame.

FLAMES (15-20)

Coach: Dale Layer.

Entry: Big South champion.

AGGIES (19-16)

Coach: Cy Alexander.

Entry: Mid-Easter Athletic champion.

[8] COLORADO STATE VS. [9] MISSOURI

Thursday in Lexington, Ky.

RAMS (25-8)

Coach: Larry Eustachy.

Entry: Mountain West at-large.

Key player: Colton Iverson (14.7 ppg, 9.8 rpg).

Notable: Eustachy, in his first year with the Rams, is coaching in his second NCAA tournament in a row, having guided Southern Miss to the tourney last year.

TIGERS (23-10)

Coach: Frank Haith.

Entry: Southeastern at-large.

Player to watch: Laurence Bowers (14.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg).

Notable: Mizzou, which is in its first year in the SEC after leaving the Big 12, will try to erase the memory of losing as a No. 2 seed to Norfolk State last year.

[5] OKLAHOMA ST. VS. [12] OREGON

Thursday in San Jose, Calif.

COWBOYS (24-8)

Coach: Travis Ford.

Entry: Big 12 at-large.

Player to watch: Marcus Smart (15.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4.2 apg).

Notable: In Smart, the Cowboys boast one of the nation’s top players. The freshman guard is the Big 12 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year.

DUCKS (26-8)

Coach: Dana Altman.

Entry: Pac-12 champion.

Player to watch: E.J. Singler (11.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.9 apg).

Notable: Altman was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year. Oregon led the Pac-12 in rebounding (37.4 per game) and steals (8.5 per game).

[4] ST. LOUIS VS. [13] NEW MEXICO ST.

Thursday in San Jose, Calif.

BILLIKENS (27-6)

Coach: Jim Crews.

Entry: Atlantic 10 champion.

Player to watch: Dwayne Evans (13.6 ppg, 7.7 rpg).

Notable: A dark horse to reach the Final Four, St. Louis is playing for the memory of late coach Rick Majerus, who died last December.

AGGIES (24-10)

Coach: Marvin Menzies.

Entry: WAC champion.

Player to watch: Daniel Mullings (14.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.6 apg).

Notable: The Aggies use a strong inside game to shoot better than 46 percent from the floor and outrebound opponents by 6.4 per game.

[2] DUKE VS. [15] ALBANY

Friday in Philadelphia

BLUE DEVILS (27-5)

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski.

Entry: ACC at-large.

Player to watch: Mason Plumlee (17.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg).

Notable: Plumlee led the conference with 17 double-doubles; Duke was 18-0 during the regular season when Ryan Kelly played.

GREAT DANES (24-10)

Coach: Will Brown.

Entry: America East champion.

Player to watch: Mike Black (14.9 ppg, 2.5 apg).

Notable: Albany, the conference leader in free-throw percentage (73.4 percent), made more free throws (502) than its opponents attempted (493).

[7] CREIGHTON VS. [10] CINCINNATI

Friday in Philadelphia

BLUEJAYS (27-7)

Coach: Greg McDermott.

Entry: Missouri Valley champion.

Player to watch: Doug McDermott (23.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg).

Notable: The Bluejays swept the regular-season and tournament titles in what could be their last season in the MVC before potentially joining the Catholic 7.

BEARCATS (22-11)

Coach: Mick Cronin.

Entry: Big East at-large.

Player to watch: Sean Kilpatrick (16.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg).

Notable: The Bearcats ended nonconference play with a 12-1 record and a No. 8 ranking but shot 37.2 percent in Big East play and are 4-7 in their past 11.

[6] MEMPHIS VS. [11] MTSU/St. MARY’S

Thursday in Auburn Hills, Mich.

TIGERS (30-4)

Coach: Josh Pastner.

Entry: Conference USA champion.

Player to watch: Joe Jackson (13.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.8 apg).

Notable: Memphis is known for its balanced scoring and didn’t have anybody finish among the top 15 in Conference USA scorers during the regular season.

BLUE RAIDERS (28-5)

Coach: Kermit Davis.

Entry: Sun Belt at-large.

ST. MARY’S (27-6)

Coach: Randy Bennett.

Entry: West Coast at-large.

[3] MICHIGAN STATE VS. [14] VALPARAISO

Thursday in Auburn Hills, Mich.

SPARTANS (25-8)

Coach: Tom Izzo.

Entry: Big Ten at-large.

Player to watch: Adreian Payne (10.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg).

Notable: The Spartans, again with their typical muscle on the boards in the 6-10 Payne and 6-9 Derrick Nix, seek their seventh Final Four since 1999.

CRUSADERS (26-7)

Coach: Bryce Drew.

Entry: Horizon League champion.

Player to watch: Ryan Broekhoff (15.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg).

Notable: The Crusaders reached their first NCAA tourney under Drew, who as a Valpo player hit one of the most iconic winning shots in tournament history.

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