Home > Current Updates > Bracket Bits: South Region

Bracket Bits: South Region

Dave2015The South Region might be the deepest 16-team grouping when it comes to potential Final Four teams.  Let’s start with Baylor.  The Bears haven’t quite found their mojo since a lengthy Covid pause, but a couple of losses down the stretch might be extra motivation.  Ohio State held its place as a projected top seed for a couple of weeks, and both Purdue and Arkansas create matchup problems.

Favorite: Baylor
Next in Line: Ohio State
Darkhorse: Texas Tech
The Red Raiders lost two overtime games to Oklahoma State and one-point games to West Virginia and Kansas.  In other words, this is a team which could easily have been a 3-4 seed with a few breaks.  Perhaps those breaks materialize here in March.  On a quick side note, TTU won at LSU during the Big 12-SEC Challenge, and the Tigers are fresh off a victory over Arkansas, whom Tech might play in Round 2.
Best chance for an upset:
(12) Winthrop over (5) Villanova – It’s a huge step-up in class for the Eagles, who enter the game at 23-1, including victories over Furman and UNC-Greensboro of the Southern Conference.  Villanova is also without Collin Gillespie, and the Wildcats lost their final two games without him.  Winthrop enters with a lot of confidence, but the risks are these: the Eagles are not a great shooting team, and they connect on less than 70 percent of their FT’s as a team..
Next best chance for an upset:
(14) Colgate over (3) Arkansas – The anatomy of an upset usually involves one of two things: the ability to control tempo and/or a lower-seeded team catching fire from the three-point line.  Colgate won’t slow the game, but the Raiders have three contributors who make more than 40 percent of their 3-point attempts.  Two more knock down 38 and 37 percent.
Best Storyline: Purdue
A year ahead of schedule, coach Matt Painter has his young Boilermakers battle tested.  Zach Edey, a 7-4 freshman, and Trevion Williams are matchup problems.  If anticipated performers come back, Purdue should be a projected Top 4 seed again next season.
Best opening-round matchup: (8) North Carolina vs. (9) Wisconsin
On paper, this is an easy choice.  The Tar Heels and Badgers are frequent NCAA contenders.  Although neither has had an inspired season, either could present some issues for Baylor in Round 2.
Best bet to get to the Final Four: Baylor
The trendy pick here is Ohio State, and the Buckeyes can play with anyone.  In some ways, Baylor’s loss in the Big 12 tournament serves as a reminder that any game can be your last.  The Bears have ample playmakers and if they re-group on the defensive end, watch out.

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