The Midwest Region of the NCAA bracket already has a bunch of upsets.
Auburn took care of business against Iowa in the 8-9 matchup. Pittsburgh upset Iowa State in the 6-11 matchup. Lastly, Penn State dominated Texas A&M in the 7-10 matchup as the ten-seed.
Houston, Texas, Xavier, Indiana and Miami all survived the first game of the bracket. At the time of writing this, the region still has its five best teams, unlike most of the other regions.
That will change on Day 2, Round 2.
No. 5 seed Miami will face No. 4 Indiana. One team has to lose out of the top five now. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh will take on Xavier, as an 11-seed going up against a 3-seed.
Things are about to get interesting.
Here are my two cents on Sunday’s Midwest Region action.
Also, take a look at our other best bets for Sunday:
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Midwest Best College Basketball Bets
(Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and all wagers are 1 unit)
Xavier vs. Pittsburgh
The Xavier Musketeers are one of the best offenses in the nation. They’ve hit over 39% from downtown this season and have scored 54% from inside the arc.
The team is missing Zach Freemantle, who has been injured and is out for the remainder of the season. His absence has hurt, but the Musketeers still were able to roll past Kennesaw State to begin the NCAA Tournament.
However, Xavier made just two threes in that game, despite shooting over 39% from three throughout the season. That’s likely going to change against Pittsburgh.
Xavier’s too good of an offense to continue to miss wide-open looks from downtown.
On the other hand, Pittsburgh has already won two games in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve allowed a combined 100 points, or an average of 50 points per game in those two contests. The defense has stepped up but will struggle against a Xavier team that is ranked 8th in KenPom this year.
Let’s grab the Over 152 in this matchup. Pittsburgh’s defense won’t be nearly as effective against Xavier and the Panthers are still a top-30 offense according to KenPom. Xavier has allowed teams to shoot over 35% from downtown throughout the season.
Bet: Over 152 (-110)
Indiana vs. Miami
Indiana has had trouble winning back-to-back games all year. Could this change against Miami?
Indiana looked really good against Kent State and Miami struggled against Drake to begin Tournament play in the region.
The Hoosiers have shot 37% from downtown and 53.1% from inside the arc. That’s crucial, especially with Miami giving up 51.8% from inside the arc this season.
Indiana won’t get to the foul line at a high rate but still hit over 71% from the foul line.
Meanwhile, Miami’s the better offense. The Hurricanes have shot 36.7% from three and 54.1% from inside the arc. This team is also more reliable from the foul line. But Indiana has held teams to 45.1% from inside the arc this season. That’s going to help Indiana escape Miami.
Bet: Indiana -1.5 (-110)
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