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Breaking down the Midwest Region bracket heading into Sweet 16

We take a look at the Midwest Region heading into the Sweet 16 round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament and discuss our picks for an upset, teams to fade and more.

Miami v Indiana Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Midwest Region semifinals take place at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri on Friday, March 24. Let’s take a look at the matchups, which will both air on CBS.

No. 1 Houston vs. No. 5 Miami, 7:15 p.m. ET Friday

Spread: Houston -7
Total: 138
Moneyline: Houston -320, Miami +265

Houston beat No. 16 Northern Kentucky and No. 9 Auburn to reach the Sweet 16. With Marcus Sasser back on the court for the Cougars, they are in much better shape than they were in the AAC Championship, but they will need to control the pace of this game against Miami’s fast breaks if they hope to win.

Miami pulled away from No. 4 Indiana in the second round after beating No. 12 Drake in the first. This team scores 13.29 fast break points per game (24th in the nation) and has a massive weapon in Isaiah Wong. This team is heating up as they head into the Sweet Sixteen.

No. 3 Xavier vs. No. 2 Texas, 9:45 p.m. ET Friday

Spread: Texas -4.5
Total: 149.5
Moneyline: Texas -195, Xavier +165

Xavier’s path here has been an interesting one as they staged a lucky comeback against No. 14 Kennesaw State in the first round, then went cold and nearly allowed No. 11 Pitt to stage their own comeback in the second round. An assist-heavy team, they struggled with shooting inconsistency and may meet their match in this Texas team.

Texas excels at both forcing turnovers and grabbing steals, which could break up Xavier’s rhythm. They beat No. 15 Colgate in the first round and held off a very good No. 10 Penn State in the second round. They risk going cold, but after winning the Big XII championship, they seem to be on the right path as of now.


Miami +7

The Hurricanes are not going to comply easily with Houston’s slower game pace. This is a team that likes to grab fast breaks and get down the court, and unless the Cougars can protect the ball with very, very few flaws, I think Miami is going to catch them on their heels.

Texas -4.5

Xavier has had an issue with cold streaks this tournament, and I think that Texas will be able to take advantage of that more than their other opponents were, especially considering the Longhorns’ top 50 rankings in steals and turnovers forced.