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NCAA Capsules-Midwest Regional

March 18, 2019
North Carolina

Chapel Hill, 27-6.

Nickname: Tar Heels. Coach: Roy Williams.

Conference: Atlantic Coast. Bid: At Large.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 1.

Tournament History: 124-46, 20 Final Fours and 6 national championships in 48 appearances.

Last appearance: 2018, lost to Texas A&M in the Second Round.

Season Stats:

Scoring: 86.1 points per game, 46.4 fg pct, 37.5 3-pt pct, 74.2 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Cameron Johnson 16.9; Coby White 16.3; Luke Maye 14.7.

Rebounds: Maye 10.5; Johnson 5.8; Avg team margin (plus-9.7).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.45): White (4.2/2.8), 133 assists.

Last 10 Games: 8-2.

Best Win: 88-72 at Duke on Feb. 20.

Worst Loss: 89-92 vs. Texas on Nov. 22.

The Skinny: The Tar Heels claimed their first regular-season sweep of Duke since 2009, a year that ended with Williams claiming his second NCAA championship. They were trying to beat the Blue Devils three times in a season for the first time since 1976, but Zion Williamson tipped in his own miss to put the fifth-ranked Blue Devils ahead for good, and Duke survived North Carolina’s final-play shot for a 74-73 win in the semifinals.

Iona

New Rochelle, N.Y., 17-15.

Nickname: Gaels. Coach: Tim Cluess.

Conference: Metro Atlantic Athletic. Bid: Automatic.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 16.

Tournament History: 1-14 in 14 appearances.

Last appearance: 2018, lost to Duke in the First Round.

Season Stats:

Scoring: 76.8 points per game, 45.3 fg pct, 35.1 3-pt pct, 74.1 ft pct.

Top Scorers: E.J. Crawford 17.9; Rickey McGill 15.5; Tajuan Agee 13.3.

Rebounds: Agee 8.1; Crawford 5.1; Avg team margin (minus-2.1).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.06): McGill (5.0/2.8), 159 assists.

Last 10 Games: 10-0.

Best Win: 80-75 vs. Hartford on Nov. 21.

Worst Loss: 68-80 at Fairfield on Jan. 27.

The Skinny: The Gaels lost nine of their first 11 games this season and, following a 66-65 loss — their fourth in a row — to Quinnipiac on Feb. 8, Iona was 7-15 overall, 5-6 in conference play. The Gaels have since won 10 consecutive games including an 81-60 win over Monmouth in the championship game to clinch their MAAC-record fourth title in a row. Iona has just two returners from last-year’s squad — senior Rickey McGill, the MAAC tournament MVP and a first-team all-conference selection, and junior E.J. Crawford, the team’s leading scorer.

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Utah State

Logan, 28-6.

Nickname: Aggies. Coach: Craig Smith.

Conference: Mountain West. Bid: Automatic.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 8.

Tournament History: 6-22, in 20 appearances.

Last appearance: 2011, lost to Kansas State in the First Round.

Season Stats:

Team Scoring: 79.1 points per game, 47.4 fg pct, 35.5 3-pt pct, 74.7 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Sam Merrill 21.2; Neemias Queta 11.9; Diogo Brito 8.3.

Rebounds: Queta 8.9; Quinn Taylor 6.2; Avg team margin (plus-8.9).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.37): Merrill (4.2/1.8), 144 assists.

Last 10 Games: 10-0.

Best Win: 81-76 at home to Nevada on March 2.

Worst Loss: 77-78 at home to Fresno State on Jan. 9.

The Skinny: The Aggies won their first Mountain West Conference title, beating San Diego State in the title game, under first-year coach Craig Smith to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011.

Washington

Seattle, 26-8.

Nickname: Huskies. Coach: Mike Hopkins.

Conference: Pac 12. Bid: At Large.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 9.

Tournament History: 18-17, 1 Final Four in 16 appearances.

Last appearance: 2011, lost to North Carolina in the Second Round.

Season Stats:

Team Scoring: 69.8 points per game, 45.3 fg pct, 34.6 3-pt pct, 69.4 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Jaylen Nowell 16.2; David Crisp 12.5; Noah Dickerson 12.2.

Rebounds: Dickerson 7.4; Nowell 5.3; Avg team margin (minus-2.6).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (0.87): Nowell (3.1/2.9), 106 assists.

Last 10 Games: 7-3.

Best Win: 61-55 at Oregon on Jan. 24.

Worst Loss: 73-76 at Cal on Feb. 28.

The Skinny: The Huskies, who are making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2011, are hobbling into the postseason despite winning the regular-season conference title. They closed the month of February with loss to California — the Golden Bears’ only conference win this season — scored a season-low 47 points in a loss to Oregon in the regular-season finale and shot 33 percent from the field in a 68-48 loss to the Ducks in the Pac-12 championship game. Second-year coach Mike Hopkins has Washington suffocating opposing offenses with its 2-3 zone. The Dawgs rank No. 9 nationally in steals per game (9.0) — led by Matisse Thybulle’s Division I-leading 3.44 — and are 30th in scoring defense, allowing just 64.4 points per game.

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Auburn

Auburn, Ala., 26-9.

Nickname: Tigers. Coach: Bruce Pearl.

Conference: Southeastern. Bid: Automatic.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 5.

Tournament History: 13-9 in 9 appearances.

Last appearance: 2018, lost to Clemson in the Second Round.

Season Stats:

Scoring: 79.4 points per game, 44.9 fg pct, 37.6 3-pt pct, 71.0 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Bryce Brown 15.7; Jared Harper 15.4; Chuma Okeke 11.6.

Rebounds: Okeke 6.6; Austin Wiley 4.5; Avg team margin (minus-0.6).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.18): Harper (5.8/2.3), 196 assists.

Last 10 Games: 9-1.

Best Win: 84-80 at home to Tennessee on March 9.

Worst Loss: 77-80 at South Carolina on Jan. 22.

The Skinny: The SEC post-season champs are riding an eight-game win streak that includes two wins, 84-80 and 84-64, over Tennessee. Their 20-point win against the Volunteers in the championship game marks their first SEC tourney title since 1985. The Tigers hadn’t played in the title game since 2000. Auburn is 3-5 this season against teams that were ranked in the Top 25 at the time they played.

New Mexico State

Las Cruces, 30-4.

Nickname: Aggies. Coach: Chris Jans.

Conference: Western Athletic. Bid: Automatic.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 12.

Tournament History: 10-26, 1 Final Four in 24 appearances.

Last appearance: 2018, lost to Clemson in the First Round.

Season Stats:

Team Scoring: 78.1 points per game, 45.9 fg pct, 33.5 3-pt pct, 67.5 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Terrell Brown 11.3; Eli Chuhu 9.8; AJ Harris 9.6.

Rebounds: Chuha 6.7; Ivan Aurrecoechea 5.1; Avg team margin (plus-9.6).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.24): Harris (3.4/1.5), 108 assists.

Last 10 Games: 10-0.

Best Win: 83-78 at Utah Valley on Jan. 19.

Worst Loss: 76-82 at California Baptist on Jan. 3.

The Skinny: The Aggies, who won 28 games in each of the last two seasons, have won a program-record 30 games heading into their third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and seventh in the last eight years. Second-year coach Chris Jans uses a long, experienced rotation with 13 players (11 of which are upper-classmen) averaging more than 10 minutes per game and none averaging as many as 26. NMSU ranks No. 3 nationally in rebound margin (plus-9.6), No. 11 in scoring margin (plus-14.0) and No. 26 in scoring defense (64.1 points per game).

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Kansas

Lawrence, 25-9.

Nickname: Jayhawks. Coach: Bill Self.

Conference: Big 12. Bid: At Large

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 4.

Tournament History: 107-46, 14 Final Fours and 3 National Championships in 47 appearances.

Last appearance: 2018, lost to Villanova in the Final Four.

Season Stats:

Scoring: 75.4 points per game, 46.2 fg pct, 35.0 3-pt pct, 69.7 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Dedric Lawson 19.1; Lagerald Vick 14.1; Udoka Azubuike 13.4.

Rebounds: Lawson 10.3; Azubuike 6.8; Avg team margin (plus-2.5).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.00): Devon Dotson (3.6/2.3), 122 assists.

Last 10 Games: 7-3.

Best Win: 87-81 vs. Tennessee on Nov. 23.

Worst Loss: 64-65 at West Virginia on Jan. 19.

The Skinny: Only in a place like Lawrence is a 25-win season, a top 20-ranking and an 8-3 record against Top 25 opponents considered a less than ideal season. Such are expectations are appearing in the Final Four a year ago. But don’t dismiss the Jayhawks. Despite a 78-66 defeat in the Big 12 Conference championship game, Kansas is 9-4 since February and more recently have won eight of its last 11.

Northeastern

Boston, 23-10.

Nickname: Huskies. Coach: Bill Coen.

Conference: Colonial Athletic Association. Bid: Automatic.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 13.

Tournament History: 3-8, in 8 appearances.

Last appearance: 1991, lost to North Carolina in the First Round.

Season Stats:

Team Scoring: 76.1 points per game, 48.2 fg pct, 38.8 3-pt pct, 75.1 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Vasa Pusica 17.8; Jordan Roland 14.7; Shawn Occeus 10.1.

Rebounds: Bolden Brace 6.0; Anthony Green 5.4; Avg team margin (plus-0.1).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.27): Pusica (4.2/3.2), 110 assists.

Last 10 Games: 9-1

Best Win: 82-74 vs, Hofstra on March 12.

Worst Loss: 72-75 at Towson on Jan. 24.

The Skinny: The Huskies have lost their last six NCAA openers but back in 1981 and 1982 advanced to the second round by knocking off a sixth-seeded team. Leading scorer Pusica was the CAA tournament MVP when Northeastern knocked off league champion Hofstra. He hit 7 of 12 3s in that game. The battle-test Huskies survived losing all of an 18-point lead, something they learned when losing a 17-point lead in the title game the year before.

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Iowa State

Ames, 23-11.

Nickname: Cyclones. Coach: Steve Prohm.

Conference: Big 12. Bid: Automatic.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 6.

Tournament History: 19-19, 1 final Four in 19 appearances.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Purdue in the Second Round.

Season Stats:

Team Scoring: 77.4 points per game, 47.7 fg pct, 36.5 3-pt pct, 73.2 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Marial Shayok 18.6; Lindell Wigginton 13.5; Talen Horton-Tucker 12.1.

Rebounds: Michael Jacobson 6.0; Horton-Tucker 5.0; Avg team margin (plus-0.6).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.37): Nick Weiler-Babb (4.0/1.6), 136 assists.

Last 10 Games: 5-5.

Best Win: 78-66 vs. Kansas on March 16.

Worst Loss: 66-71 vs. Arizona on Nov. 19.

The Skinny: The Cyclones, a No. 5-seed entering the Big 12 Conference tournament, became the lowest seeded team in post-season play to ever win out and clinch an automatic bid. Iowa State sat at 18-5 before losing six of eight games to end regular-season play. Iowa State could be primed to make a deeper-than expected run as the Cyclones have a 6-3 record against Top 25 opponents this season.

Ohio State

Columbus, 19-14.

Nickname: Buckeyes. Coach: Chris Holtmann.

Conference: Big Ten. Bid: At Large.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 11.

Tournament History: 56-31, 11 Final Fours and 1 National Championship in 31 appearances.

Last appearance: 2018, lost to Gonzaga in the Second Round.

Season Stats:

Scoring: 69.6 points per game, 43.7 fg pct, 34.3 3-pt pct, 73.4 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Kaleb Wesson 14.4; C.J. Jackson 12.2; Andre Wesson 8.8.

Rebounds: K. Wesson 6.8; Kyle Young 4.6; Avg team margin (plus-1.3).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.14): Jackson (3.5/2.3), 113 assists.

Last 10 Games: 3-7.

Best Win: 64-56 at Cincinnati on Nov. 7.

Worst Loss: 50-68 at Northwestern on March 6.

The Skinny: Ohio State lost to eventual Big Ten tournament champion Michigan State 77-70 in the quarterfinals for its fifth loss in its last seven games. Sophomore Kaleb Wesson, leading the Buckeyes in both scoring and rebounding, was named to the honorable mention All-Big Ten team. The Buckeyes have four wins in nine games this season against teams that made the 2018 NCAA Tournament, including two wins on the road against Cincinnati and Creighton. Ohio State also played nine games against teams currently ranked in the Top 25 poll.

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Houston

Houston, 31-3.

Nickname: Cougars. Coach: Kelvin Sampson.

Conference: American Athletic. Bid: At Large.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 3.

Tournament History: 27-25, 5 Final Fours in 20 appearances.

Last appearance: 2018, lost to Michigan in the Second Round.

Season Stats:

Team Scoring: 76.2 points per game, 44.9 fg pct, 36.4 3-pt pct, 70.4 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Corey Davis Jr. 16.8; Armoni Brooks 13.5; Dejon Jarreau 9.0.

Rebounds: Brooks 6.6; Nate Hinton 4.5; Avg team margin (plus-7.7).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.31): Galen Robinson Jr. (5.0/1.7), 166 assists.

Last 10 Games: 8-2.

Best Win: 82-76 at home to LSU on Dec. 12.

Worst Loss: 69-73 at Temple on Jan. 9.

The Skinny: Not since the days of Phi Slama Jama in the early 1980s has the program seen a squad post more than 30 wins and reach the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons. Despite losing to No. 24 Cincinnati in the AAC title game, the Cougars went 3-1 against Top 25 competition. Houston also boasts an 82-76 home win against LSU, which occurred nine games into the season before the Tigers were ranked. Houston beat the Bearcats twice and Pac-12 tournament champ Oregon, 65-61, when the Ducks owned a No. 18 ranking.

Georgia State

Atlanta, 24-9.

Nickname: Panthers. Coach: Ron Hunter

Conference: Sun Belt. Bid: Automatic.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 14.

Tournament History: 2-4 in 4 appearances.

Last appearance: 2018, lost to Cincinnati in the First Round.

Season Stats:

Scoring: 77.2 points per game, 46.6 fg pct, 38.8 3-pt pct, 65.9 ft pct.

Top Scorers: D’Marcus Simonds 18.7; Devin Mitchell 12.4; Jeff Thomas 12.0.

Rebounds: Malik Benlevi 5.7; Simonds 4.9; Avg team margin (minus-6.2).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.07): D’Marcus Simonds (3.7/3.8), 119 assists.

Last 10 Games: 8-2.

Best Win: 83-80 at Alabama on Dec. 4.

Worst Loss: 75-77 at Troy on Jan. 19.

The Skinny: The Sun Belt’s regular season and conference champions are riding a five-game winning streak into the tournament. The Panthers are the only team in the country with four players to make 50 or more 3-pointers this season. Georgia State has the second-most wins in the country without a loss when leading at the half. Gonzaga leads the nation with 25. The Panthers went 2-3 against opponents this season, all on the road, who competed in last year’s NCAA Tournament.

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Wofford

Spartanburg, S.C., 29-4.

Nickname: Terriers. Coach: Mike Young.

Conference: Southern. Bid: Automatic.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 7.

Tournament History: 0-4, 4 appearances.

Last appearance: 2014, lost to Michigan in the First Round.

Season Stats:

Team Scoring: 83.0 points per game, 49.3 fg pct, 41.6 3-pt pct, 69.9 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Fletcher Magee 20.5; Cameron Jackson 14.6; Nathan Hoover 13.3.

Rebounds: Jackson 7.5; Keve Aluma 6.8; Avg team margin (plus-6.5).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.40): Storm Murphy (3.2/1.3), 103 assists.

Last 10 Games: 10-0.

Best Win: 72-43 at NC-Greensboro on Jan. 10.

Worst Loss: 64-75 at Oklahoma on Nov. 18.

The Skinny: The No. 20 Terriers have won 20 games in a row and their four losses this season all came against NCAA Tournament teams from Power 5 conferences (No. 3 North Carolina, No. 17 Kansas, then-No. 17 Mississippi State and Oklahoma). Wofford became just the third team in Southern Conference history to sweep conference play with at least a 16-game regular season — even more impressive when you figure that four SoCon teams won at least 24 games this season. The Terriers are led by two-time conference player of the year Fletcher McGee, who leads Division I with 4.6 made 3s per game while shooting 42.8 percent from behind the arc.

Seton Hall

South Orange, N.J., 20-13.

Nickname: Pirates. Coach: Kevin Willard.

Conference: Big East. Bid: At Large.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 10.

Tournament History: 16-12, 1 Final Four in 12 appearances.

Last appearance: 2018, lost to Kansas in the Second Round.

Season Stats:

Team Scoring: 73.9 points per game, 44.1 fg pct, 32.4 3-pt pct, 70.8 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Myles Powell 22.9; Myles Cale 10.3; Quincy McKnight 9.5.

Rebounds: Sandro Mamukelashvili 7.8; Michael Nzei 5.3; Avg team margin (minus-0.2).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.09): McKnight (4.0/2.5), 131 assists.

Last 10 Games: 6-4.

Best Win: 84-83 vs. Kentucky on Dec. 8.

Worst Loss: 93-97 at home to DePaul on Jan. 19.

The Skinny: Seton Hall lost to Villanova in the Big East tournament championship game as the Wildcats became the first team to win it three consecutive seasons. Villanova has won four of the last five championships with the only loss during the span to Seton Hall in 2016. The Pirates are headed to their fourth straight NCAA Tournament, matching a school best (1991-94).

Kentucky

Lexington, 27-6.

Nickname: Wildcats. Coach: John Calipari.

Conference: Southeastern. Bid: At Large.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 2.

Tournament History: 126-51, 17 Final Fours and eight national championships in 58 appearances.

Last appearance: 2018, lost to Kansas State in the Sweet Sixteen.

Season Stats:

Scoring: 76.7 points per game, 47.8 fg pct, 36.4 3-pt pct, 74.0 ft pct.

Top Scorers: PJ Washington 14.8; Tyler Herro 14.2; Keldon Johnson 13.4.

Rebounds: Washington 7.5; Reid Travis 6.9; Avg team margin (plus-9.0).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.10): Ashton Hagans (4.5/2.4), 148 assists.

Last 10 Games: 7-3.

Best win: 71-63 at home to Kansas on Jan. 26.

Worst loss: 75-77 at Alabama on Jan. 5.

The Skinny: The Wildcats were in the hunt for a No. 1 seed until losing to Tennessee in the SEC semifinals. Not too bad considering the season started with a 118-84 loss to Duke. Reid Travis, who missed several weeks with a sprained right knee, returned for the tournament and played back-to-back games, scoring 11 points in a start in the last game. Kentucky beat Tennessee by 17 when the Vols were No. 1 but lost by 19 late in the regular season before losing by four in the league tourney.

Abilene Christian

Abilene, Texas, 27-6.

Nickname: Wildcats. Coach: Joe Golding.

Conference: Southland. Bid: Automatic.

Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 15.

Tournament History: First appearance.

Last appearance: First.

Season Stats:

Scoring: 74.5 points per game, 47.4 fg pct, 38.6 3-pt pct, 71.5 ft pct.

Top Scorers: Jaren Lewis 13.7; Jalone Friday 13.1; Payten Ricks 11.7.

Rebounds: Lewis 6.2; B.J. Maxwell 4.7; Avg team margin (plus-1.7).

Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.30): Jaylen Franklin (4.9/2.1), 163 assists.

Last 10 Games: 8-2.

Best Win: 83-68 at home to Campbell on Dec. 4.

Worst Loss: 60-61 at Stephen F. Austin on Jan. 23.

The Skinny: The Wildcats are making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance after six years of competing at the Division I level. AC is riding a six-game winning streak and has a 15-3 record since the start of the new year. Their 27 wins heading into the tournament is tied for the most wins in a season in program history. The Wildcats’ offense is done by committee as Jaren Lewis, Jalone Friday, Payten Ricks and Jaylen Franklin each average double figures.