Now that I got a few things off my chest, it's time for a Casual breakdown of the Midwest Region, the region our beloved Georgetown Hoyas plan to conquer just two days from now. Most websites, newspapers and magazines will be breaking down the NCAA Tournament just like we are, the only difference being that they will actually try to give you useful statistics and information. But not THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON. You don't read the PHENOMENON for statistics and information, you read it for Jersey Shore references and mindless drivel. Without further ado.
You really thought we could go that long without a picture of The Situation?
Your Casual Hoya bracket breakdown coming at you after The Jump.
Favorite Player: Sherron Collins. I can't really find a way to hate on a guy that has made his reputation by knocking down big shots and showing up in big games. I'd like to, but I can't. I also respect that he's been able to accomplish so much at only 5'7".
Player Most Likely to Choke His Coach: Tyshawn Taylor. Tyshawn has had quite the year. He started by trying to re-create a scene from The Wire with the entire Kansas football team, and has been a huge pain in the rear for Bill Self throughout the season. Self even had to bench him at one point to try to get through to him.
What the Experts Are Saying: Everyone and their mother has Kansas getting to the Final Four and winning it all, which is completely understandable. They are the unanimous #1 team in the country, and a cool 32-2 on the season. I've never had a record that good in a video game, let alone real life.
What an Idiot Says: Tom Izzo has owned Bill Self since Self's days coaching at Illinois. Izzo and the Spartans knocked out Kansas last year in one of the best games of the tournament, and I'm going to say that lightning will strike twice. Kansas is going down in Sweet 16. Just kidding. Kansas is losing to Georgetown in the Elite 8.
#2 Ohio State
Favorite Player: Mark Titus. If you haven't read Club Trillion, you are really missing out. Titus is one of the best writers on the planet and just happens to be the 12th man on Ohio State's team. The only college player as funny as him right now is Henry Sims. That's it.
Embarrassing Fact Exposed by Twitter: Evan Turner's undying love for Lady Gaga and her smash hit "Bad Romance". I'm as big a Gaga fan as there is, but society accepts this more because I live in my mom's basement eating double stuffed oreos. Turner is a top 3 NBA Draft pick, not exactly helping his street cred by bumping Ga Ga Ooo La La before games.
What the Experts Are Saying: The experts seem to be at odds over Ohio State. Some have them losing in the 2nd round, some have them getting to the Elite 8, and most have them losing to Georgetown in the Sweet 16.
What an Idiot Says: I'm going to agree with the experts here. Evan Turner and his boys go down to Georgetown in the Sweet 16.
I actually haven't followed these guys that much this year, so if anyone wants to clue me in on what to expect from Georgetown, that'd be great.
What the Experts Are Saying: Most have Georgetown bowing out in the Elite 8 to Kansas. I have not seen a single article saying Georgetown is going to the Final Four, which is eerily reminiscent of 2007 when everyone thought UNC was going to the Final Four out of the East. And we all know how that turned out.
What an Idiot Says: I think we match up well with Kansas. Call me crazy, but I think Monroe is too quick for Cole Aldrich. Chris Wright and Collins have pretty similar games and similar diminutive competitiveness. Austin Freeman is a shorter but better and more efficient version of Xavier Henry, and Jason Clark does everything Tyshawn Taylor does, without the Ron Artest theatrics. The key for Georgetown will be Monroe and Julian Vaughn staying out of foul trouble and limiting Aldrich and the Taylor twins from going off inside.
Player I Hope Spends His Career in Europe: Greivis Vasquez, also known as the Venezuelan Andy Rautins. I guess Andy Rautins could be the Canadian Greivis Vasquez, too. Either way, they're both douche bags.
Fun Fact About Gary Williams: Did you know that Jeff Green's dream was to be a Terrapin growing up? And Williams told a young Green that he wasn't good enough to ever play at Maryland. How'd that work out Gary? Notable recruiting misses to come out of Virginia and Maryland since Gary won the national title in 2002 include Carmelo Anthony, Jeff Green, Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, Donte Green, Nolan Smith, Austin Freeman and Chris Wright. Ouch.
What the Experts are Saying: Seems to be split 50 / 50 with a second round defeat to Michigan State or a Sweet 16 defeat to Kansas.
What an Idiot Says: I have the Twerps losing in the first round to Houston, with huge games coming from Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. PHI SLAMMA JAMMA LIVES.
#5 Michigan State
Team that Got Lost in the Shuffle: Michigan State. The Spartans returned 6 of their top 7 players from last year's runner-up team, including Kalin Lucas, Raymar Morgan, Durrell Summers and Draymond Green, yet I feel like I haven't read a single article about them all year. Michigan State also has the best tournament coach of our generation in Tom Izzo, shared the Big 10 Championship with Ohio State, and are still somehow a #5 seed. They are the college basketball equivalent of the heroine in Patrick Swayze's "She's Like the Wind".
Coach Deserving of Praise: I have an uncomfortable man crush on Tom Izzo. I just think he's a phenomenal coach, and always seems to get the most out of his teams. Since 1999, Michigan State has been to five Final Fours, and I'm not going to apologize for my feelings about Izzo. His resume is even more impressive when you consider that Michigan State is located in East Lansing, Michigan, also known as hell on Earth.
What the Experts are Saying: 50 / 50 on losing to Maryland and losing to Kansas.
What an Idiot Says: I'm torn. I really think they could beat Kansas in the Sweet 16, but Kansas is freaking 32-2, only a team of superheroes, a team like the Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown, can stop Kansas. Michigan State bows out in the Sweet 16.
Player That Scares Me Most if Georgetown Plays Tennessee: Tyler Smith. Oh wait, he got kicked off the team already. NICE WORK MORON.
Team That Is Clicking At The Right Time: Tennessee. They lost their last game 74-45 to Kentucky. I guess having Steven Pearl, son of coach Bruce Pearl, play a prominent role isn't necessarily going to win a lot of tournament games. Although Saul Smith did a hell of a job for Kentucky back in the day under Tubby's tutelage. Tubby's tutelage. That made me laugh.
What The Experts Are Saying: Tennessee has been deemed a prime candidate to get upset in the first round by San Diego State.
What an Idiot Says: I don't know a thing about San Diego State, but why not. Aztecs over Volunteers.
Some quick hit thoughts about the rest of the bracket, because let's be honest, the rest of these teams don't really matter:
#7 Oklahoma State - If T. Boone Pickens ever decides to focus his attention on basketball, I would not be surprised if Oklahoma State was the next stop on John Calipari's Cheating Tour Across America.
#8 UNLV - It'd be way cooler for college basketball if UNLV were good again. I see videos of Greg Anthony, Larry Johnson and Stacey Augmon torching opponents while Jerry Tarkanian bites his towel and I long for simpler times. Back when a student athlete was just that, a student athlete. Where have all the role models gone?
#9 Northern Iowa - Georgetown beat Northern Iowa on St. Patrick's Day in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2006. Northern Iowa's most famous alumnus, Kurt Warner, would not have approved of my actions on that day.
#10 Georgia Tech - If you have any interest in watching the poor man's version of Greg Monroe, you are in luck. Georgia Tech's Derrick Favors is a less-skilled, less-developed version of Monroe. Of course, NBA scouts are drooling over his "length" and "hops" but aren't as focused on his "lack of basketball skills".
#11 San Diego State - Marshall Faulk went there. The Greatest Show on Turf is well represented in the Midwest Bracket, between San Diego State and Northern Iowa. I stayed at the same hotel as Jeff Van Gundy in San Diego one time and had the pleasure of seeing him poolside. He had a surprisingly nice set of man boobs. That's all I have for San Diego State for now.
#12 New Mexico State - Reggie Theus coached New Mexico State. He also coached the Deering Tornadoes on NBC's "Hang Time".
#13 Houston - Georgetown beat Houston for its only National Championship in 1984. It has to be a good sign they are in our bracket since we are about to win our second National Championship.
#14 Ohio - Famed NFL writer Peter King is an alumnus of Ohio. I really enjoy Drew Magary's "Fun with Peter King" series.
#15 North Texas - North Texas is located in North Texas and has an alumni base that includes Stone Cold Steve Austin, Don Henley and Mean Joe Greene. If I went to North Texas I'd want to be called Bad Jeff Green's Dad.
#16 Lehigh - Lehigh vs. Lafayette is an engineer's version of Harvard vs. Yale. Also, I visited Lehigh once and was surprised by the lack of height displayed by their male population. At 5'10" I'm pretty sure I'd play center for their basketball team. With that in mind, it's remarkable they made it to the NCAA Tournament.
So there you have it. A foolproof guide to the Midwest Region. Please do not use the picks in the Casual Hoya Bracket Contest, because that would be cheating.