North Carolina will headline the Midwest Region of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels will be joined in this bracket by a strong team in Kansas and a couple of okay teams in Georgetown and Michigan.
Just a kneejerk reaction: this feels like the bracket that should have gone to Kentucky, the No. 1 overall seed, not North Carolina. Not to take anything away from what Michigan accomplished this year but, despite the fact that this bunch earned a share of the Big Ten in the regular season, nobody really puts them in the same category as Michigan State and Ohio State. Similarly, while Georgetown is a solid squad and hails from the deepest (note: deepest, not best) conference in college hoops, the Hoyas don’t really have what it takes to compete with the Tar Heels either.
Then again, while none of those teams pose a serious threat to North Carolina, Kansas clearly does. You could argue that even if they had performed better in the Big 12 Tournament that the Jayhawks wouldn’t have earned a No. 1 seed, but they were definitely in the conversation up until that point. Kansas is formidable, no doubt about it.
And not that this will have any impact on the Tar Heels whatsoever, but Cal being in this region (and tournament) is embarrassing. The Pac-12 was that awful. It makes everyone it touches look bad.
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Here is the full breakdown of games:
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 16 Lamar/Vermont
No. 8 Creighton vs. No. 9 Alabama
No. 5 Temple vs. No. 12 Cal/South Florida
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No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 13 Ohio
No. 6 San Diego State vs. No. 1 North Carolina State
No. 3 Georgetown vs. No. 14 Belmont
No. 7 St. Mary’s vs. No. 10 Purdue
No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 15 Detroit