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NCAAB Championship: Midwest Region Update

In a tournament full of upsets and chaos, the Midwest region has been nearly all chalk with #1 Houston, #2 Texas, #3 Xavier and #5 Miami reaching the regional semifinal.

All four teams in the Midwest to reach the last 16 of the tournament have prevailed in down-to-the-wire games already his March.

Houston has not been at its best, but played well enough in the second half to prevail against #16 Northern Kentucky and #9 Auburn.

Its last 16 opponent, Miami, trailed by eight with five minutes left in the first round against #12 Drake, then used a 16-1 run to end the game and avoid the upset.

Xavier nearly got bounced by #14 Kennesaw State in the opening round. Sean Miller's team trailed for much of the game but rallied in the final 10 minutes, using a huge 15-0 run to overwhelm the 14-seed.

Texas has looked the best of any team in the Midwest, although it had to fend off a scrappy #10 Penn State in a 71-66 win in the round of 32.

Let’s take a look at the upcoming matchups and latest odds for the Midwest region.

What#1 Houston vs. #5 Miami
WhereT-Mobile Center, Kansas City, Missouri
When7:15 ET, Friday, March 24th
How to watchTSN
OddsHouston -7, Miami +260 ML

Houston (-110 to Win Region) continues its quest for the last four against a tournament-proven Miami team.

Not only has 'The U' shown its stuff against #12 Drake and #4 Indiana this March, but a similar crop of players - notably guards Isaiah Wong and Jordan Miller - advanced to the regional final in last year's tournament. Despite its inferior seed, Miami (+800 To Win Region) is capable of pulling this upset.

Houston hasn't been at its best so far in this tournament, evidenced by its 11-point victory over #16 Northern Kentucky in the opening round. Kelvin Sampson's team has looked sloppy and struggled to score during long stretches during the first two rounds. But, unlike fellow 1-seeds Kansas and Purdue, they remain in the tournament and are favored to reach the last four in their home town.

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What#2 Texas vs. #3 Xavier
WhereT-Mobile Center, Kansas City, Missouri
When9:45 ET, Friday, March 24th
How to watchTSN
OddsTexas -4, Xavier +167 ML

The nightcap at the T-Mobile Center this Friday will include two teams performing at a very high level.

Texas (+210 to Win Region) is favored and objectively the more talented team, but it's not that simple in March. Xavier (+700 to Win Region) can fill up the cup with anyone, and could produce an offensive performance that matches Texas.

The 3-seed can't shoot like it did against #14 Kennesaw State - they went 2-for-12 from three - if they want to keep it close throughout this last 16 affair. Texas has been one of the most consistent teams in the nation over the last several months and should win comfortably if Xavier can't execute on offense. Sean Miller's team is weak defensively, giving up 73.8 PPG in the regular season (289th in the nation).

If Xavier is to win, it will have to limit senior forward Dylan Disu, who is coming off a monster 28-point. 10-rebound performance against Penn State. Disu is one of the several freak athletes Texas has on its roster, and a big reason why they are favored to win this last 16 fixture.

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