Giant Killers: Midwest Region

Best bets for potential tourney upsets in the Midwest

Updated: March 18, 2014, 12:23 PM ET
By Peter Keating and Jordan Brenner | ESPN Insider

West | South | East | Midwest

Sunday night, we brought you the news that the NCAA selection committee, working from an applicant pool already weakened by conference tournament upsets, has handed down a weak field of Giant Killers for 2014. Nevertheless, it's time to move beyond our list of the 10 most likely round of 64 upsets and go prospecting in this year's brackets.

For each of the four regions, we'll break down the six Giant vs. Killer matchups. (Remember, a Giant Killer is any team that beats an opponent seeded at least five spots higher. See our full methodology here for more details.)

Per tradition, we have divided the games among four categories: Best Bets, Worth A Long Look, Not Completely Crazy and Stay Away. We can't tell you exactly how to play your brackets; that depends on how much upsets are worth in your pool. But we can give you the odds of upsets, based on statistical analysis that begins with teams' basic power ratings, layers in their "Secret Sauce" -- their statistical similarity to past Davids and Goliaths -- and adjusts further for the matchup of their playing styles.

Stick with us. We will cover the Midwest and South on Monday, the East and West on Tuesday, and look ahead to future rounds on Wednesday.

In a year when the Giant Killing cupboard is thinly stocked, here's the region that contains the country's two best bets for big upsets.

Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. He started writing "The Biz," a column looking at sports business from the fan's point of view, in 1999. He also coordinates the Magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" project, which ranks all pro franchises according to how much they give back to fans. His work on concussions in football has earned awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club and the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.

Jordan Brenner | email

ESPN The Magazine contributing writer
Brenner writes for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Insider. He covers the NBA and college basketball.