This article is part of our NCAA Tournament Preview series.
East Region Preview
Midwest Region Preview
South Region Preview
West Region Preview
MIDWEST REGION PREVIEW
The top two seeds in the Midwest Region (North Carolina, Kansas) had excellent seasons, and Kansas was among the contenders for a No. 1 seed until very late in the season. Outside of that, the region is deep with battled-tested teams from big conferences (Georgetown, Michigan, North Carolina State, Alabama), which will provide a tough road to New Orleans and the 2012 Final Four for whoever emerges from the region.
No. 1 North Carolina - The Tar Heels are deep with talent, perhaps most notably in the frontcourt with forwards Tyler Zeller and Harrison Barnes, but guard Kendall Marshall has also emerged as a force in the backcourt. The wrist injury suffered by forward John Henson during the ACC tournament threatens to derail their plans for a deep NCAA Tournament run, but he is expected to play after missing the final two games of the conference tourney. Three of North Carolina's five losses this season came by less than five points, and all five came to teams that are in the tournament (two to Florida State). As long as Henson can play, a Final Four run could be in the offing.
No. 2 Kansas - The Jayhawks sometimes disappoint come NCAA Tournament time, but they are deep with experienced players and have not one but two stars in forward Thomas Robinson and guard Tyshawn Taylor. Losing in the semifinals