Midwest Region - First Round
(19-14, 12-6 SWAC)
Texas Southern Tigers
What You Need To Know: Former Indiana and UAB head coach Mike Davis is taking his third program to the NCAA Tournament, with his Tigers riding a nine-game winning streak into the Big Dance. The offense has been efficient all season, and it’s willing and able to play both up-tempo or in a grind-it-out set. The Tigers hit the glass hard and move the ball well. Defense is an issue for the Tigers, who can lose focus at times. Center Aaric Murray is the star of the show offensively, and he uses his 6-10, 245-pound frame to set up in the low block and bang inside. But he also can turn and face the basket, and he has just enough range to force opponents to follow him to the perimeter. Junior point guard Madarious Gibbs is a quality passer and the team’s most consistent shooter - his quickness allows him to excel in the drive-and-kick game. Depth is a concern, but Jose Rodriguez is a do-everything athlete who helps balance the floor.
Strengths: Scoring, Shooting, Assists
Weaknesses: Steals, Turnover Margin, Field Goal Percentage Defense
(13-19, 6-10 Big West)
Cal Poly Mustangs
What You Need To Know: It's the time of the year when a team can get hot and make a Cinderella run to the tournament, and head coach Joe Callero's squad did just that. The Mustangs are one of the lowest-scoring teams in college basketball, but they play solid defense and can grind out games. Forward Chris Eversley is the leader with his ability to score in the mid-range game sets him apart. He doesn't try to do too much on the floor from the perimeter, but he has enough range to keep opponents honest. Swingman Dave Nwaba is undersized and plays more like a power forward, but he’s wickedly effective with a nose for the ball. Guard Kyle Odister is just six-feet tall, but he’s tenacious on D to go along with being the team’s top three-point shooter. Shooting inconsistency is the biggest issue.
Strengths: Scoring Defense, Turnovers, Assist-Turnover Ratio
Weaknesses: Scoring, Shooting, Rebounding