Story Lines to Watch at the NCAA Tournament Games in Milwaukee

Ready for March Madness? Kid Reporter Wilson von Bohlen is! He’s in Milwaukee for the first and second rounds and has some tips about what to watch for this weekend at those Midwest and South region games.

Upset Central?
The four lower seeds in Milwaukee this weekend, Vermont, Winthrop, Nevada, and Middle Tennessee State, are all teams capable of pulling off big upsets. Last year, Middle Tennessee State knocked off second-seeded Michigan State in a first-round shocker. This year, Vermont went undefeated in conference play, and Nevada finished the year on a nine-game win streak. Winthrop pulled off a first-round upset in its last tournament appearance. So when you’re watching the games in Milwaukee this year, watch out for the little guys.

Caleb Swanigan
This year, Swanigan led the Purdue Boilermakers in points and rebounds. He is a finalist for the Naismith and Wooden awards, a first-team All-America, and the Big Ten Player of the Year. He’s had his share of challenges in life and has emerged as a 6’9” forward who is a dominant inside presence in college basketball. Swanigan will be a force to be reckoned with, especially facing a smaller Vermont team.

Middle Tennessee State
Basketball fans across America were stunned last year. A No. 2 seed that was expected to go deep into the tournament was knocked out by a 15 seed in the first round! That 15 seed was Middle Tennessee State, a team that had gone 25–10 during the season. Fans now know that the Blue Raiders can pull off the unexpected upset at the unexpected time. Beware of Middle Tennessee State!

Debbie Antonelli
Antonelli is a broadcast analyst for CBS/Turner, and this week in Milwaukee, she will be the first woman to call March Madness men’s games in 22 years. She was a college basketball player herself, at North Carolina State, and has been calling both men’s and women’s NCAA games for almost three decades. She is respected for her impact in increasing the broadcast presence of women’s basketball and for her meticulous preparation throughout her career. Antonelli is a true pro in college basketball and definitely someone to watch for—or listen to—this weekend in Milwaukee.

Photographs by (from top): Jamie Squire/Getty Images (MTSU); Rob Carr/Getty Images (Swanigan)

 

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