Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sportz Assassin's South Region Preview

TEAM TO BEAT: Kansas. The Jayhawks are an experienced team with Ben McLemore as a Player Of They Year candidate.  They may have overachieved a bit during the season, but this is a tough team who can cut down the nets.

TEAM THAT WILL WIN THE REGION: Kansas. There are landmines, to be sure, but I think Kansas has a great road to the Final Four and should get their with minimal problems.

TEAM TO WATCH FOR (LESS THAN A NO. 3 SEED): Michigan. The Wolverines were ranked No. 1 at on point during the season and were a title contender before a late season swoon.  Guard play is huge in the tournament and Michigan has some of the best with Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr.  VCU could also fit the bill, but I think if they get to Kansas, the Jayhawks will have several days to prepare for that pressure defense.

YOUR CINDERELLA: South Dakota State. There isn't any glaring Cinderella in this bracket (does Minnesota or North Carolina count?), but Nate Wolters has the ability to put up huge numbers and an upset over weakening Michigan would put them on the map. 

WORST SEEDING ERROR: North Carolina. They are a tough No. 8 seed and I'm sure Kansas doesn't like them possibly waiting for them in the third round.  Sure, they've lost 10 games this season, but one was to Indiana, two were to Duke and three were to Miami.  They can get hot from deep and topple any of the big seeds in this region.

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: Kansas. The Jayhawks get to play in Kansas City right off the bat and then move down to North Texas for the regional final.  There are zero Texas teams in the entire tournament, so Kansas shouldn't have a problem bringing their huge fan base down and filling up Jerry World.

MUST WATCH GAME: Michigan vs South Dakota State. Trey Burke vs Nate Wolters should be the reason you must watch this one.  Burke is a national player of the year candidate and Wolters could be the tournament's next Steph Curry/Wally Sczerbiak.  Wolters can light it up and may bring some drama to the struggling Michigan's title run.

MUST WATCH (POTENTIAL) SECOND ROUND GAME: Michigan vs VCU. Sure, everyone else is pointing to Kansas-North Carolina, but how about those great Michigan guards going up against that attacking pressure defense of VCU?  I'd love to see how both handle the other.

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