NCAA Tournament Preview: South

Posted: 03/21/2013 by levcohen in NCAA

Only one region left now, and that is the South region, which is headed by Kansas. Kansas is a good team, but I feel that they are a somewhat weak #1 seed, one that could lose early (maybe 3rd round to UNC?) Georgetown is the two seed in the region, and deservedly so. They had a terrific season, and are looking to reverse their current trend of good regular seasons and bad NCAA tournament play. I like the three seed, Florida, who have not won a game by less than 10 points. Plus, all of the Gators losses have been by single digits. This is one of the best offensive and defensive teams in the nation, and I think they are better than both Kansas and Georgetown, at least on paper. The #4 seed, Michigan, is led by the possible national player of the year in Trey Burke. They have a lot of star power and would probably be a good bet to beat Kansas in the sweet 16. But before that they’d have to face #5 VCU, which plays a “havoc” style, with elite steal and turnover rates. They also would be a good matchup for Kansas, who has had trouble with pressing defenses. The 6-11 matchup might be the weirdest second round game this year. #11 Minnesota is favored by three points over #6 UCLA, because they play in the Big 10, but also because they have been good this year, even if they haven’t of late. Minnesota looks like the better team in this one. On to the matchups.

#1 Kansas vs. #16 Western Kentucky: This should be an easy win for Kansas. As I mentioned, they do have flaws, but none big enough for Western Kentucky to keep this close.

#2 Georgetown vs. #15 Florida Gulf Coast: Don’t sleep on FGCU, a team that is not a normal #15 seed, as they beat Miami earlier in the season. Georgetown is superior, as they have one of the best players in the country (Otto Porter Jr.), but FGCU could keep it close.

#3 Florida vs. #14 Northwestern State: Florida looks to be the best of the #3 seeds, and this should be a walk in the park.

#4 Michigan vs. #13 South Dakota State: South Dakota State has one of the best players in the country, guard Nate Wolters, who has put up 20+ points per game in three straight seasons. But Michigan counters Wolters with Trey Burke, and have a huge talent advantage down the line. I don’t see a way that South Dakota State wins this game.

#5 VCU vs. #12 Akron: Losing your point guard is never ideal, but it could also never be worse than it is for Akron, as they have to play without their PG against VCU’s defense. Before Alex Abreu went down, Akron would have had a good chance to win this game, but I don’t see it happening now.

#6 UCLA vs. #11 Minnesota: The rebounding advantage for Minnesota should propel them to victory, but the only reason that the Gophers were ever an 11 seed is their inconsistency. That inconsistency could cost them this game.

#7 San Diego State vs. #10 Oklahoma: San Diego State and Oklahoma are both good teams, and I have no idea who will win. I do think the winner has a fighter’s chance at beating Georgetown in the next round, so this game could be more important than the average 7-10 game.

#8 North Carolina vs. #9 Villanova: UNC has a lot more talent, and have a possible game against Kansas if they beat Villanova. Remember, coach Roy Williams used to coach Kansas, so it would be intriguing if they won.



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