Sweet 16 Preview: Midwest Region
Sweet 16 Preview: Midwest Region

This article is part of our Sweet 16 Preview series.

Midwest Region
West Region
East Region
South Region

Site: Kansas City
Tip-off: Friday

There were no major upsets in the Midwest so we're getting the matchups we always wanted. Sure, Kansas playing in Kansas City would've been interesting, but the pace of North Carolina and Auburn could result in the best game of the Sweet 16. As for Kentucky, it's clinging onto to hopes of another Final Four, but the status of PJ Washington doesn't look good and that could finally come to bite the Wildcats against a Houston team that has multiple big bodies in the paint to limit easy looks.

No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 5 Auburn

Key Matchup: UNC three-point defense vs. Auburn shooters. The Tigers have hit at least 12 threes in their last seven games and that automatically gives them a shot no matter the opponent. The question is how well UNC defends the three, as it doesn't have great numbers on the season. The Heels were ninth best in the ACC, allowing 33.8 percent from deep. Even worse is that they gave up 10 first-half threes to Iona and 15 for the game in the first-round win. Their prowess on the boards should help limit extra opportunities, but three-point defense could again be a problem for the Heels.

North Carolina will win IF: it continues to score at will. The Heels love to run and that's brought tons of success with the eighth-most efficient offense in the country. Even if the defense allows

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam writes on sports ranging from NFL and MLB to soccer and college basketball. Outside of writing, he has worked with a professional soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, and in the stats department at ESPN. He is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate. 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year.
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