Ben Clanin, 23 Sports.

A quick glance up and down the Midwest bracket of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament shows a variety of teams that have the firepower to emerge victorious both in their region and in the entire tournament.

The No. 1 seeded Kansas Jayhawks appear to have the easiest route of the field up until the Elite Eight, facing off against No. 16 seed Penn in their first game. The only thing that could haunt the Jayhawks is the availability of their star Udoka Azubuike, it is said that he will be available in an “emergency” situation in the first round of the tournament if need be.

Another team that stands out is the No. 3 seeded Michigan State Spartans. The Spartans have yet to lose a game to an opponent that has been ranked any lower than 15 on the year. Behind the leadership of young superstar Miles Bridges, Sparty has a more than decent chance at making a deep run in the region.

The last team that leaps out at first glance is the team that everybody loves to hate, especially around this time of the year, the Duke Blue Devils. Duke is a mainstay in the tournament at this point and it is tough to bed against them, especially under the leadership of Coach K. Senior Grayson Allen is also looking to cap off his Blue Devil career on the very top which could make him a more dangerous player than he is already. In all likelihood, they will clash with the Michigan State Spartans in the Sweet Sixteen. A matchup that promises to be an instant March Madness classic.

Kansas appears to have a pretty easy path to the Elite Eight, with their toughest game potentially coming against the regular season SEC Champion Auburn Tigers. The first few rounds of the bracket look clear cut as far as who wins and losses, but once it gets into the deeper tournament it is completely up in the air  once Duke, Michigan State, and Kansas all start to see each other.