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March Madness breakdown: Midwest Region

Kansas teammates Sherron Collins, right, and Marcus Morris

Kansas teammates Sherron Collins, right, and Marcus Morris helped lead the Jayhawks to the No. 1 overall seed in the 2010 March Madness tournament. Credit: MCT Photo

Best guard/playmaker: Evan Turner, Ohio State

There are few players as fearless, and talented, as Turner. The versatile, 6-7 do-it-all junior, who returned after breaking two vertebrae in his back, was named Big Ten Player of the Year and is projected to be the No. 2 pick of the NBA draft behind Kentucky phenom John Wall.

Best Big Man: Greg Monroe, Georgetown

Georgetown center Greg Monroe was an imposing presence inside for the Hoyas during their run to the Big East tournament final. The 6-11 sophomore led the team in points (23), rebounds (13), assists (seven) and blocks (two) in the tournament semifinal against Marquette to propel Georgetown to its 13th title game.

Best Go-to-Guy: Greivis Vasquez, Maryland

Vasquez (19.6 points, 6.3 assists, 4.6 rebounds) is the only player in the nation averaging at least 18 points and six assists this season. The Venezuelan-born guard was named the ACC Player of the Year and helped lead the Terrapins to a share of their first regular season conference championship since 2002.

Best Player You've Never Heard Of: James Anderson, Oklahoma State

No shot is off limits Anderson -- and almost all of them drop. The Big 12 Player of the Year put up at least 20 points against league opponents this season and posted 27 points, eight rebounds and three assists in a regular-season win over Kansas.

Best First-Round Match-up: No. 4 Maryland vs. No. 13 Houston

This game will pit Vasquez's playmaking skills against national scoring leader Aubrey Coleman, who averages 25.9 points a game.

Best Coaching Match-Up

If No. 3 Georgetown and No. 2 Ohio State advance to a regional semifinal, we'll not only see two of the best teams around, but also two of the best coaches in the country: Thad Matta and John Thompson III. The Hoyas ended the Buckeyes' 2005-2006 season in the second round of the tournament.

Best Team: Kansas

The Jayhawks have an assortment of weapons, including first team All-Americans Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich.

Best Bet To Spring An Upset

Michigan State hit the skids of late, losing five of their last 10 games, including a 72-67 overtime loss to lower-seeded Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals. But Tom Izzo's crew shouldn't be overlooked. They've earned 13 straight tournament bids and were the runner-up last year.

Regional Prediction: Kansas.

Michigan State and Ohio State should give the Jayhawks some trouble in the regional semifinal and final, respectively. But neither team has enough star power to knock off Kansas.

Final Four Prediction

Kansas, West Virginia, Syracuse, Villanova

The Jayhawks are the best overall team in the 65-team field, but West Virginia'a gritty style of play will make them a tough out. If Syracuse center Arinze Onuaku doesn't suffer any setbacks along the way, the Orange should be a contender to win the national championship. And if Scottie Reynolds' shot is on-point, the Wildcats could make some noise.


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