This article is part of our NCAA Tournament Preview series.
The Midwest is set to be the most exciting region of the tournament with Kansas, Duke and Michigan State at the top of the rankings all season. Throw in Oklahoma's Trae Young, SEC champion Auburn and squads like Arizona State and NC State that have beaten all of the top teams in the nation, and it's probably the toughest of the bunch. Will the favorites shine or will underdogs pave a path en route to the Elite 8 and Final 4?
No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks
The Jayhawks didn't get much respect throughout the season, but in the end, they won the Big 12 outright and then won the conference tournament without their best big (Udoka Azubuike (13.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg). But there are still questions surrounding them because while they've dominated the Big 12 the last 14 years, the same can't be said for the NCAA tournament. Devonte Graham (17.3 ppg, 7.5 apg) may be the best point guard in the region (or country), but it's been everyone else that's helped this team from Azubuike down low to Svi Mykhailiuk (15.1 ppg) and more recently Malik Newman, who went 15-of-22 from three-point range in the Big 12 tournament. That said, when the shots aren't falling, anything can happen and that's what happened a few times at home this season.
No. 2 Duke Blue Devils
The Blue Devils probably have the most talented team in the country, but they haven't exactly