Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

NCAA Midwest Region 1

March 12, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments

NCAA Midwest Region 1 Preview

by Brian Seymour

1. Kansas vs. 16. Holy Cross

Despite the obvious 1 vs. 16 mismatch, this game has the potential to be one of the more entertaining first-round games. Holy Cross isn’t as undersized as most people would expect with 6-foot-8 forward Tim Szatko and 6-foot-11 center Nate Lufkin lurking in the Crusaders’ frontcourt. Holy Cross dominated the boards against most of its opponents, but would do well to stay even with Kansas in that category.

What can you say about the Jayhawks? At their best, they are probably the best team in the country. High-scoring, entertaining, quick. A joy to behold. At their worst? A loss to a more disciplined Ball State team and a horrid performance in the Big 12 championship game. Kansas only needs Drew Gooden to be his usual superb self (20.6 ppg, 11.1 rpg) to dispatch Holy Cross.

Analysis: Despite its record and its resume, don’t dismiss Holy Cross. Roy Williams’ Kansas teams have a history of spectacular failures in the tournament and what would be bigger than the first loss ever by a No. 1 seed? The Jayhawks won’t be able to push Holy Cross around physically, so they’ll have to use their superior speed and talent. If they can’t put the Crusaders away in the first 20 minutes, it could go down to the wire.

8. Stanford vs. 9. Western Kentucky

Probably one of the more overrated teams in the tournament (Stanford) against one of the more underrated. The Cardinal are lucky that they matchup pretty well against the Hilltoppers. Western Kentucky is led by 7-foot-1 center Chris Marcus, who averages 16.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, but Stanford can counter with 7-foot center Curtis Borchardt.

As you might expect, Stanford typically plays smart, but can struggle against quick and deep teams, which the Hilltoppers are. Sun Belt champ Western Kentucky has played some big games already this season, including a victory over Kentucky. It won’t be intimidated by the bright lights of the Big Dance.

Analysis: Another exciting matchup, probably the best 8-9 game. Western Kentucky can throw players in waves and will try to outrun Stanford. If the Cardinal keeps cool, can limit Marcus to about 15 points (or better yet, get him in foul trouble), they’ll probably advance. It’ll almost definitely come down to which big man – Marcus or Borchardt – has a better game.

5. Florida vs. 12. Creighton

On the face of it, a potential disaster for Florida. The danger to No. 5 seeds in the first round of the tournament is well documented and Creighton is from the Missouri Valley Conference, a mid-major with a long history of tournament upsets. However, the Gators have so much talent it would take a Herculean effort to knock them off. Start in the middle with center Udonis Haslem (15.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg), throw in a talented frontcourt mate in Matt Bonner (16.4 ppg) and sharp guard play from Brett Nelson (14.6 ppg, 3.3 apg).

Creighton’s leader is junior Kyle Korver, who amazingly only missed three games in December after a serious knee surgery. Korver scores 15.2 points a game and is the Missouri Valley’s active leader in three-point shooting. The Bluejays have a lot of size despite not being able to match the Gators in talent.

Analysis: The Gators have historically had first-round problems. Even as national runner-ups in 2000, they needed a miracle shot from Mike Miller to beat Butler. If they start cold and give Creighton some momentum, an upset is possible. If Creighton gets behind, however, it’ll be hard to mount a comeback unless Korver gets really hot with the threes. Look for Florida to focus their defense on him though.

4. Illinois vs. 13. San Diego State

Their loss in the Big Ten tournament notwithstanding, the Illini are one of the hottest teams in the country. Eight wins in their last nine regular season games and they were starting to show some of the talent that made them an almost universal Top 5 team when the season started. A very streaky team, Illinois has a lot of balance and a lot of depth, but could end up winning the whole enchilada or losing to the Aztecs in the opening round. In short, there’s no predicting which team will show up.

San Diego State, on the other hand, also won eight of its last nine games, but needed to win the Mountain West tournament to get an invitation. Their five starters are all juniors or seniors, led by senior forward Randy Holcomb, who averages 17.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

Analysis: Thanks to the emphasis on geographical pairings, the Illini essentially get two home games in downtown Chicago, about two hours from their campus. That’ll make it harder for the Aztecs to pull off an upset, but don’t start their epitaph just yet – the Illini are as streaky a team in the country – and the Aztecs defeated UNLV on the Rebels’ home floor to get their ticket into the Dance.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 9, 2017

November 10, 2017 by

The season is almost here, and we take a look at some of what to expect this coming season. We have preseason polls, conference changes, a look at some conferences and some matchups to start the season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.