LWOS’ NCAA All-State Tournament continues with the Midwest Region. As a reminder, 32 teams were selected from the roughly 5,000 division one basketball players this year. The teams were created based on the players’ listed hometown.
NCAA All-State Tournament Midwest Region
#1 Maryland / Washington D.C. (Overall 2)
Starters: Luka Garza, Jalen Smith, Anthony Cowan, Immanuel Quickley, Saddiq Bey
Maryland and DC is a hotbed for basketball talent. This team clearly demonstrates that with numerous All-Conference players, but most notably, Garza, Smith, and Quickley. The starting lineup is fantastic and each player has All-American level talent. The bench does leave some to be desired, but it is still solid. That is what separates them from the overall number 1 seed in New York.
#8 Africa (Overall 31)
Starters: Udoka Azubuike, Silvio De Sousa, Mamadi Diakite, Oscar Tshiebwe, Chol Marial
Bench: Flo Thamba, Khadim Sy, Nathan Mensah, Martins Igbanu, Bourama Sidibe
Unfortunately, this team is not a joke. There are literally no guards from Africa that play college basketball. This team cannot be evaluated effectively because there are no real lineups to create. Diakite would have to play point with this group. While they are amazingly deep at the front line, they may not be able to get the ball over half court.
Maryland wins this one. Not sure how Africa can really guard anyone, but they are still better than Missouri probably!
#4 Michigan (Overall 15)
Starters: Cassius Winston, Xavier Tillman, Isaiah Livers, Devon Daniels, Myles Dread
This Michigan roster is led by Winston and Tillman. As you can see, this is a Big Ten laden team. The only players outside of the Big Ten are Daniels from North Carolina State and Edwards from Arizona State. This is definitely a guard-heavy team, but they all fit well together.
#5 West – comprised of Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana (Overall 18)
Starters: Sam Merrill, TJ Haws, Yoeli Childs, Payton Pritchard, Tres Tinkle
Bench: Tyler Bey, Jazz Johnson, Trevon Allen, Brendan Bailey, Makol Mawien
This combination roster turned out to be great. The starting lineup is incredibly strong and there are some nice bench pieces. A group of Pritchard, Merrill, Hawes, Tinkle, and Childs would be one of the five best starting groups in the nation. The bench is the only reason this team drops to 18th.
This would be a great matchup. The West gets the nod here because the starters are just that much better. The inexperience of the Michigan bench causes some problems and lets the West squeak this one out.
#3 Louisiana / Arkansas (Overall 10)
Starters: Skylar Mays, Ja’vonte Smart, Mark Vital, Jared Butler, Dejon Jarreau
This deep-south roster is impressive. A nice mix of Arkansas, Baylor, and LSU players create a dangerous group. The one problem for this team is a lack of height. The team comes together like the Houston Rockets. Plenty of scorers and athletes with a 6’6 center. A bench of Joe, Radford, and McCormick has electric scoring written all over it.
#6 Indiana (Overall 23)
Starters: Trayce Jackson-Davis, Desmond Bane, Sean McDermott, Malik Williams, Aaron Henry
Bench: CJ Walker, Jaquan Lyle, Dru Smith, Eric Hunter Jr., Paul Scruggs
Indiana is typically a strong state. This season it is weaker than was expected. Jackson-Davis is a stud, but beyond that, they just have inconsistent players or role players. This team could definitely win some games in a series, but that will not be the case here.
The Louisiana team wins handily. Their guards are significantly better than Indiana. Outside of Jackson-Davis, they do not have much scoring prowess in the lane, so Louisiana should survive that.
#2 New England- comprised of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island
Starters: Marcus Zegarowski, David Duke, Jermaine Samuels, LJ Figueroa, Steven Enoch
This New England roster has talent. While there are not big-time names, there are a lot of severely underrated players that are excellent. Zegarowski and Duke make a great backcourt pair. Samuels and Figueroa add a ton of length and scoring. The bench has some electric scorers and some good defenders. This team is very well constructed.
#7 Colorado/Arizona/New Mexico
Starters: Markus Howard, Jake Toolson, Saben Lee, Timmy Allen, TJ Holyfield
This team is referred to as the fighting Markus Howard’s. Lee, Toolson, Allen, and Holyfield all are capable players but they do not bring a ton to the table. This team would play similar to Marquette, with Howard taking 20 to 30 shots. Unfortunately, that won’t cut it against New England.
New England wins going away. Zegarowski nearly notches a triple-double.
#1 Maryland/DC vs #5 The West
The West is admittedly really strong. However, the depth of the roster is not going to cut it against Maryland. Two-thirds of the DMV wins this one in a hard-fought battle. They pull away in the second half securing a double-figure win.
#2 New England vs #3 Louisiana/Arkansas
Another great matchup. Louisiana narrowly sneaks away with a win. They are able to turnover New England and use the size advantage with their guards to win.
#1 Maryland/DC vs #3 Louisiana/Arkansas
Maryland wins this one. The size advantage for Maryland takes over here and Louisiana can’t overcome it. Maryland advances to the Final Four relatively easily out of the Midwest Region of the NCAA All-State Tournament.
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