Monday, March 14, 2011

Sportz Assassin's Southeast Region Preview

TEAM TO BEAT: Pitt. I'm not that sold on the Panthers, but they did win the Big East regular season crown and they do have some bangers who can take the team deep.

TEAM THAT WILL WIN THE REGION: Florida. I'm not entirely sold on the Gators either, but I think they have a draw they can handle to the Elite 8 and someone else will do their dirty work and knock out Pitt.

TEAM TO WATCH FOR (LESS THAN A NO. 3 SEED): Kansas State. K State was among those most talked about as a preseason pick for the Final Four. But they got off to a rocky start. Over the last month or so, the Wildcats have stepped it up and have the guard play to go deep in the dance.

YOUR CINDERELLA: Michigan State. I know, it's tough to be a Cinderella team when you've been to the last two Final Fours. But they are a No. 10 seed that has really underperformed this year. Tom Izzo is an excellent tournament coach and could get this team back on track. The region is weak enough to feed a run by Sparty.

WORST SEEDING ERROR: Utah State. How does a ranked team that has barely lost all year long get saddled with a No. 12 seed?

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: Florida. A couple games in nearby Tampa before heading off to New Orleans.

MUST WATCH GAME: Butler vs Old Dominion. I love ODU so much that I see them beating Pitt. But they must get by a Butler team that is coming on strong and were the National runners-up a year ago. Even though both are "mid majors", both have tons of tournament experience.

MUST WATCH (POTENTIAL) SECOND ROUND GAME: Pitt vs Old Dominion. This is where the first No. 1 seed could go down.

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