The Midwest is an intriguing region, featuring three regular-season conference champions and a pair of hometown teams.
March Madness regional previews
A bracket featuring the Big 12 regular-season champion (Kansas), the Big 10 regular-season champ (Purdue) and Pac-12 regular-season champ (Oregon) should create plenty of interesting matchups. One of the most potentially intriguing: Kansas and Iowa State in Kansas City, Mo., where both teams will be well represented in the stands. Also keep an eye on Nevada’s D.J. Fenner, who starred at Seattle Prep.
By the numbers
85.5 The number of points Oklahoma State averaged per game, which ranked eighth in the NCAA this season.
12.6 Rebounds per game for Purdue big man Caleb Swanigan, which ranked second in the NCAA.
10 Number of made three-pointers per game for Iowa State, which ranks in the top 10 in the NCAA.
No. 1 Kansas
The Jayhawks won the Big 12 for the 13th straight time and earned a No. 1 seed for the fifth time in the last eight years.
No. 5 Iowa State
The Cyclones have won 10 of their last 12, including six wins against teams in the NCAA tournament.
No. 2 Louisville
The Cardinals have lost three of their last five games, but any team coached by Rick Pitino is always a contender.
No. 11 Rhode Island
The Rams have won eight straight games and are a veteran team many analysts picked as a sleeper before the season began,
No. 7 Michigan
After Michigan’s flight dangerously skidded off the runway before the Big 10 tournament, the Wolverines rattled off four wins in four days to win the conference tournament.
Headed for a fall
No. 3 Oregon
The Ducks just lost 6-foot-10 forward Chris Boucher, who was the team’s third-leading scorer, second-leading rebounder and best shot blocker.
Frank Mason III, Kansas
Mason is the Big 12 Player of the Year and Kansas’ leading scorer. The senior guard averages 20.8 points per game and is an excellent three-point shooter (48.7 percent).
Monte Morris, Iowa State
The senior guard is set to become the NCAA’s career leader in assist-to-turnover ratio; he averages 6.1 assists and 1.1 turnovers this season. Oh, and he averages 16.3 points per game.
Tom Izzo, Michigan State
Although Izzo lost in the first round as a No. 2 seed last year, his teams have still been remarkably consistent come March. His teams have won at least two tournament games in seven of the last nine years..
Best players you might not have heard of
Juwan Evans, Oklahoma State
The guard ranked second in the Big 12 in scoring and 10th in the NCAA in assists.
Jordan Washington, Iona
Impressive numbers from Iona big man: leads team in points, rebounds, blocks and field-goal percentage.
Marcus Marshall, Nevada
A transfer who played the last three seasons at Missouri State. Led Nevada in scoring (19.8 points per game).
And the winner is…
The Jayhawks have been consistent all season and are an experienced team: They feature two seniors and two juniors in their starting five.