NCAA Tournament: Capsules on All 68 Teams -- Midwest Regional

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A brief description of the 16 teams in the Midwest Regional

Midwest Regional

1. NORTH CAROLINA (27-6)

Name to Know: Cameron Johnson, first-team all-ACC

Best Wins: Gonzaga, Duke (twice), Florida State

Worst Losses: Texas, Louisville (home)

Famous alumnus: Michael Jordan

Considerations: Both wins against Duke came with Zion Williams sidelined

Comment: Tar Heels’ outstanding offensive weapons could take them to Final Four

16. IONA (17-15)

Name to Know: E.J. Crawford, all-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

Best Wins: Quinnipiac (road), Rider (road), Siena (road)

Worst Losses: Fairfield, Columbia, Holy Cross

Famous alumnus: Don McLean, “American Pie” singer

Considerations: Gaels are on 10-game winning streak, but are 0-12 alltime in the NCAA Tournament

Comment: Iona’s 7-15 start to the season does not translate to wins in the postseason

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8. UTAH STATE (28-6)

Name to Know: Sam Merrill, Mountain West Player of the Year

Best Wins: Nevada, Saint Mary’s

Worst Losses: San Diego State

Famous alumnus: Harry Reid, former U.S. Senator and Senate Majority leader from Nevada

Considerations: Aggies are a great rebounding team that plays good defense

Comment: Utah State is better than people think and may upset somebody

9. WASHINGTON (26-8)

Name to Know: Matisse Thybulle, leads the nation in steals

Best Wins: Utah (twice)

Worst Losses: Cal, Oregon (twice)

Famous alumnus: Anna Faris, actor

Considerations: Huskies won regular-season title in weak Pac-12, but did not play well down the stretch

Comment: If your best win is Utah, you can’t expect to go far against this competition

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5. AUBURN (26-9)

Name to Know: Jared Harper, 5-foot-11 speedster had eight or more assists nine times

Best Wins: Tennessee (twice), Murray State

Worst Losses: South Carolina

Famous alumnus: Tim Cook, Apple CEO

Considerations: Auburn shoots a ton of three-pointers

Comment: When they’re hot from long range, Tigers can beat nearly anyone

12. NEW MEXICO STATE (30-4)

Name to Know: Terrell Brown, first-team all-WAC

Best Wins: Utah Valley (twice), Washington State (twice), Grand Canyon (three times)

Worst Losses: California Baptist, Saint Mary’s (home)

Famous alumnus: Garry Carruthers, former governor of New Mexico

Considerations: Aggies led Kansas with less than five minutes left in Lawrence, Kansas

Comment: New Mexico State could surprise someone

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4. KANSAS (25-9)

Name to Know: Dedric Lawson, team’s leading scorer, rebounder

Best Wins: Michigan State, Tennessee, Texas Tech

Worst Losses: West Virginia, Arizona State

Famous alumnus: Paul Rudd

Considerations: Failed to win Big 12 regular-season title for first time since 2014

Comment: With several players absent and four freshmen starting, not enough talent to go too far

13. NORTHEASTERN (22-10)

Name to Know: Vasa Pusica, first-team all-Colonial Athletic Association

Best Wins: Alabama, Hofstra (twice), Charleston (twice)

Worst Losses: Towson, Boston University

Famous alumnus: Wendy Williams

Considerations: Northeastern has not won an NCAA Tournament game since 1982

Comment: Colonial teams have pulled some surprises in the past, so don’t simply dismiss the Huskies

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6. IOWA STATE (23-11)

Name to Know: Marial Shayok, transfer from Virginia

Best Wins: Kansas (twice), Texas Tech, Kansas State (twice)

Worst Losses: West Virginia, Arizona

Famous alumnus: George Washington Carver

Considerations: Cyclone played great in the Big 12 tournament

Comment: Several very good wins, but this erratic play makes this team is a risky bet

11. OHIO STATE (19-14)

Name to Know: Kaleb Wesson, team’s leading scorer, rebounder

Best Wins: Cincinnati (road), Iowa

Worst Losses: Rutgers (home), Illinois (home), Northwestern

Famous alumnus: George Steinbrenner

Considerations: Buckeyes started 14-1 and was ranked No. 14, but stumbled to the finish line.

Comment: Ohio State was fortunate to get in, but won’t stay long

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3. HOUSTON (31-3)

Name to Know: Corey Davis Jr., scorer who has been particularly productive lately

Best Wins: LSU, Cincinnati (twice)

Worst Losses: Temple, Central Florida

Famous alumnus: Jim Parsons

Considerations: Cougars rank second nationally in field-goal percentage defense

Comment: Houston has no bad losses and hustles and scraps like no other team, which should get Cougars to second weekend

14. GEORGIA STATE (24-9)

Name to Know: D’Marcus Simonds, first-team all-Sun Belt

Best Wins: East Tennessee State, Alabama (road), Texas State (twice), Georgia Southern (twice)

Worst Losses: Troy, Coastal Carolina

Famous alumnus: Julia Roberts

Considerations: Georgia State upset Baylor in 2015 NCAA Tournament

Comment: Panthers are a good three-shooting team, which could cause problems if they are hot

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7. WOFFORD (29-4)

Name to Know: Fletcher Magee, two-time Southern Conference player of the year

Best Wins: South Carolina (road), UNC Greensboro (three times)

Worst Losses: Oklahoma

Famous alumnus: Jerry Richardson, former Carolina Panther owner

Considerations: Terriers enter the postseason on a 20-game winning streak. (Wofford is located in Spartanburg, S.C.)

Comment: Insiders know how good Wofford is, and it could get to the second weekend

10. SETON HALL (20-13)

Name to Know: Myles Powell, first-team all-Big East

Best Wins: Kentucky, Maryland (road), Villanova, Marquette (twice)

Worst Losses: Nebraska, DePaul (home), Butler (home)

Famous alumnus: Dick Vitale

Considerations: Seton Hall played 11 games decided by two points or fewer, going 6-5 in those games

Comment: Those good wins suggest the Pirates might have an upset win in them

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2. KENTUCKY (27-6)

Name to Know: PJ Washington, team’s leading scorer, high-percentage shooter

Best Wins: North Carolina, Kansas, Tennessee

Worst Losses: Seton Hall, Alabama

Famous alumnus: Ashley Judd

Considerations: Young team, but outstanding rebounding squad

Comment: Wildcats check all the boxes needed for postseason success

15. ABILENE CHRISTIAN (27-6)

Name to Know: Jaren Lewis, second-team all-Southland Conference

Best Wins: Campbell, New Orleans (twice), Lamar

Worst Losses: Pepperdine, Stephen F. Austin

Famous alumnus: Bobby Joe Morrow, sprinter who won three gold medals in 1956 Olympics

Considerations: Good three-point shooting team that plays good defense

Comment: Hard to imagine Wildcats winning a game in their first NCAA Tournament appearance

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