Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sportz Assassin's South Region Preview

TEAM TO BEAT: Kentucky. They are young, but boy they are talented.

TEAM THAT WILL WIN THE REGION: Kentucky. This is a strong region, but Kentucky is still that much better than the rest. And revenge sets up nicely. Indiana's last second buzzer earlier in the year will be on their radar. So will some team from Durham who hit some shot 20 years ago. The region itself should be a blast to watch ... especially for NBA fans. You have Anthony Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Austin Rivers, Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb, Cody Zeller, Perry Jones III and Tu Holloway.

TEAM TO WATCH FOR (LESS THAN A NO. 3 SEED): Wichita State. They have size and talent and can find their way to the Sweet 16. Knocking off Kentucky would be a tall order, but only 1 of 8 overall No. 1 seeds have ever won the tournament.

YOUR CINDERELLA: Xavier. A complete wildcard. Remember that this was a top ten team at the beginning of the year that spiraled out of control after their brawl with Cincinnati. They seem to have gotten some mojo back and have a player in Tu Holloway that can carry a team through the dance.

WORST SEEDING ERROR: Colorado. They shouldn't even be here ... even though they won the Pac-12 tournament. A No. 11 seed ahead of VCU or New Mexico State is a bit too much.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: Duke. Sure, Kentucky would seem to have a nice road with Louisville and Atlanta ... SEC country ... as the stops. But Duke has the same sort of road. They play in Greensboro and then in ACC country (Atlanta is an ACC city). While the regional final will be played in the Georgia Dome, Duke was just down there in Philips Arena for the ACC tournament.

MUST WATCH GAME: Iowa State vs UConn. UConn has the NBA talent but Iowa State presents some tough matchups. Expect a nice shootout between these two with the winner getting Kentucky.

MUST WATCH (POTENTIAL) SECOND ROUND GAME: Baylor vs UNLV. Kentucky-UConn would top this list if I thought UConn would beat Iowa State. There are many great possible matchups -- Kentucky-UConn, Indiana-Wichita State, Duke-Notre Dame or Duke-Xavier. But Baylor-UNLV should be the most entertaining to watch. Perry Jones vs Mike Mosier should be a great battle.

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