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Midwest Region Preview: The Region of Death


The Cats might not be in the NCAA Tournament, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t have a rooting interest. Over the next two days, KSR will preview each region of the bracket, helping you figure out who to cheer for, and what the least offensive result would be. We’ll get through this together. First up, the Midwest Region.

Despite being given the #1 overall seed, Louisville was also given the toughest region in the bracket. The Midwest Region has been dubbed “The Region of Death” by many analysts, with several teams capable of knocking off the Cards, including #2 Duke, #3 Michigan State and #4 St. Louis. Let’s break it down.


Cinderella in waiting: #12 Oregon

It feels weird to call a team that won their conference tournament a Cinderella, but giving Oregon a #12 seed is one of the Selection Committee’s biggest snubs. Led by a healthy Dominic Artis, Oregon is a tough draw for anyone, and especially tough now that they’re pissed off with something to prove. Helping their case even more is the fact that in 24 of the past 27 tournaments, a 12 seed has knocked off a 5 seed in the first round. Sorry, Travis Ford.


Team to adopt: #4 St. Louis

First of all, their mascot, the Billiken, looks like a Dr. Seuss character. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, a Billiken is a charm doll created by Florence Pretz, a St. Louis art teacher and illustrator, who is said to have seen the mysterious figure in a dream. The figure represents “things as they ought to be.” If you ask me, that thing looks downright sassy, and combined with wins over Butler, VCU and a tenacious defense, they’ve got my vote. Plus, they’re playing for former coach Rick Majerus, who passed away in December. I will not only cheer, I will do it in an XXXL sweater.

Three Heroes


1. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

Smart was named USBWA’s Freshman of the Year and with good reason. He averages 15.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.9 steals per game, and is the reason Oklahoma State is in the dance. The Cowboys live and die by Smart, and if Oregon can contain him, they’ll pull off the upset.


2. Doug McDermott, Creighton

McDermott is the nation’s second-leading scorer, averaging 23.1 points and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 56.1 percent from the field, 49.7 percent from 3-point range and 86.0 percent from the free-throw line. That just sounds pretty to watch. His father is the Creighton head coach and together, they’ve won 79 games in three seasons. Bet the house that there will be a CBS sob segment on the two at some point.


3. Dwayne Evans, St. Louis

The Billikens’ forward is averaging 13.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, which may not sound super flashy, but Butler’s Roosevelt Jones called him “the most physical player that I’ve ever played in my life.” Evans is only 6’5″ and 230 lbs., but he plays with the toughness of someone twice his size, and after this Kentucky season, I’m all for seeing some of that.

Three Villains:


1. Ryan Kelly, Duke

Duke has been downright dangerous since Kelly, a former Billy Gillispie recruit, returned. But once a Poop Tooth, always a Poop Tooth.


2. The entire Louisville team

I tried to narrow it down to just one Louisville player, but it was too hard. The only good thing about Louisville playing in Rupp Arena? The fact that they won’t be allowed to use UK’s new locker room. However, I wouldn’t put it past one of them to sneak in.


3. Coach K

Just because.

Best possible outcome for UK fans: Both Duke and Louisville lose their first games and we get to recreate this picture:


Worst possible outcome for UK fans: Louisville beats Duke to advance to the Final Four and Pitino hexes the shot clocks at Rupp to only work for 15 seconds.

Heart prediction: St. Louis upsets Louisville and Duke to advance to the Final Four

Head prediction: Louisville advances to the Final Four…and Kentucky kills them in December.

Go Cats.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

24 Comments for Midwest Region Preview: The Region of Death

  1. Drthunder
    7:26 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    How cool would it be if 20,000 “North Carolina A&T/Liberty” fans showed up vs UofL at Rupp?

  2. ciggy
    7:27 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Rick Majerus was all class, met him once and it stands out as much as meeting Cawood. Both of them had one hell of a presence about them.

    St Louis has a ton going for them.

    I love the term poop tooth, it doesn’t get old.

  3. tdogg40330
    7:27 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Duke has already beat UL and they’ll do it again …. PISS ON DUHVILLE !!!!!!

  4. Tom Jizzo
    7:28 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    What about Michigan State? Last time they were in the same region as #1 seed Louisville, they managed to make some noise.

  5. ManMan
    7:33 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    I HIGHLY doubt UofL makes it to the Final Four, these refs won’t allow all the reaching and banging down low that the Big East refs allow, something that will STRONGLY hurt UofL.

  6. dontbearichard
    7:33 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    If you pull for Duke over any team from Kentucky you are the worst kind of stupid. Pulling for Duke, really, I just don’t get it. …and now you wizards will flame me saying I am a Louisville fan…Duke!, really, your pulling for Duke.

  7. Wow!
    7:35 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Wwwwhhhhhhooooooooo freaking cares!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. chromium
    7:38 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    6. like pulling for one team or another by watching it on TV will make an anthills worth of difference. dumbass.

  9. tdogg40330
    7:41 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    6) I didnt say I was pulling for Duke, just said they have already beat UL this season, I
    dont see why everyone has UL as a lock to make the Final Four. I’m for anyone other than
    UL,IU and Duke ….

  10. Idiots will run wild
    7:41 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    To be honest, i hate Indiana more than Duke and Louisville. They are supposed to be a blue blood but do everything a mid major wouldnt even do. Plus there fans are complete morons and run around like they have 80 championships.

  11. Bob Skallen
    7:45 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t be surprised if Missouri knocks off Louisville. If UL shoots cold in that game, they are toast.

  12. vinnie
    7:47 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    6. that’s just stupid. I’d say UK had more fans pulling for them than any team we played this year. I know i didn’t miss a game on TV, but did that make any difference? WTF difference does it make who you pull for, it has absolutely no bearing on the outcome of the game. Ya know, it’s just stupid to think that’s makes a dimes worth of difference. You must be a UL fan.

  13. Roland
    7:53 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    If one or more than one UL player snuck in JUST to see the UK locker room, they probably would think:
    woulda, coulda, shoulda

  14. Duffus
    7:59 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Doubt Louisville will sneak in the locker room—–it;s more like break-in. Memphis sleeper in this region!!!!!!!!!

  15. time will tell
    8:10 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Not one team in this region UK could beat right now. I know we beat Mizz but that was a few weeks ago. Hank on BBN. The nightmare will be ove round 9:30 tomorrow night.

  16. i'm not an english teacher
    8:14 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    #10- I’m with you. I hate IU more than UL or Duke. But it’s their fans not there fans. Sorry. I have to call it as I see it. I’m sure you are not a moron like those IU fans.

  17. Rae
    9:27 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Interesting potential Sweet Sixteen matchup–Pitino vs. Travis Ford. It won’t happen, but if it did it would be fun storytelling.

  18. CrimsonCee
    10:18 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    16 – Yes, he’s a moron. Now do what you were meant to and drive up NIT ratings. You should be playing in the CBI, so count your blessings. My only regret is that you guys wouldn’t play us at Rupp this season like we wanted, but I guess Baylor did what needed to be done. What you people fail to see is that the majority of the college basketball world feels about UK fans like you do about IU fans. And, like it or not, the rest of the country is very interested in IU. Three of the four highest-rated games this season were IU games. Now, your reply will be that people tuned
    in to see us lose.
    But, again, you’d be wrong. Check out most Rivals boards when they talk about obnoxious fan bases. Kentucky is always at the top. I’m sorry they weren’t written in crayon.
    Oh and as always, I’ll save you the trouble: I’m inbred, I have no job, have never been exposed to education of any kind, etc.
    At least I actually live in Indiana. Right on the Louisville border, actually, which means my malls IN INDIANA carry more U of L/UK stuff than IU. Maybe that’s why I’m so angry, I dunno.
    I actually think this site is pretty good and wish we had one with the same kind of tone. Enjoy the sights in Pennsylvania!

  19. doesntmatter
    10:40 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink


  20. Rae
    2:14 am March 19, 2013 Permalink

    18. If you want respect as an educated individual, cut the crayon bit. You say those exact same things about Kentuckians. It is a stereotype on both sides.

    You all are a storied program and under Crean, you have overcelebrated everything. We retired the Unforgettables’ jerseys and left it at that. With you all, it is one celebration after another, for 1-seeds and co-championships (later became outright and should have been celebrated then.) Even UL is saving their major celebrations for later. They said they have different nets to cut. You are not a program that acts like it has been there before. No matter how bad things get at UK, Rupp’s floor is sacred and unrushable.

    That is why you are obnoxious.

    Oh, and no UK shouldn’t be in the CBI. We have a winning record and play in a power conference. We are right where we earned. I may question Middle Tennessee State over Virginia, but this is truly a poor excuse of a team and if there is any justice in this world they will mostly comprise our bench next season. It seems like the committee wants to force a Cinderella story. It isn’t as much fun seeing Butler play Bucknell as it would be seeing Butler play Arizona. Mid majors are padding their resumes to look good now.

    Why should we go along with what you want? The end of our series was a matter of stubbornness and pride. Cal and Crean wanted different things for different reasons, because the programs are different. The series used to be on neutral floors long ago. We could have kicked off the season in the Barclays Center next year.

    Seriously though, what is up with you all and Wisconsin? Ancient curse? A voodoo witch that needs payment?

  21. ken grizzle
    7:05 am March 19, 2013 Permalink

    To me The Billiken looks like Bo Ryan

  22. Petrinos Neck Brace
    7:29 am March 19, 2013 Permalink

    Cards dance thru this bracket and AGAIN whip the Doormat of the Send Enough Cash Conference in football come September.
    Christ, you can’t even beat a Sun Belt team!!

  23. smoke and mirrors
    7:40 am March 19, 2013 Permalink

    Worst possible outcome for UK fans: Louisville beats Duke to advance to the Final Four and Pitino hexes the shot clocks at Rupp to only work for 15 seconds………..I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Wildcat Willie
    8:39 am March 19, 2013 Permalink

    20) Rae, you hit the nail on the head. I was going to respond to that Loosier fan but you said it all right there. Most importantly the part about acting like you’ve been there. We have a handful of loud morons in our fan base (even they know we dont storm courts) but the reason the nation hates us is because they know what’s about to come. What’s that thing we’ve been saying since Cal arrived? “Envy our past and FEAR our future”! Let them get their digs in now because they are really going to hate us next year. 🙂

    23) Classic!!