One of the best aspects of the NCAA tournament comes before the tournament even starts. That's right, breaking down the bracket. You have already seen awesome coverage of it by our awesome staff, so let's take a look at the South region now.
Our regional previews are designed to get you the information you need to help with filling out a bracket (of course) but also to highlight a few specific things in each region. We'll have a look at the teams in the wrong seeds, who to watch, who to like, who to hate, a dangerous team, the best matchup, and a player to keep an eye on.
UCLA. Now I do have to admit that their inclusion into the tournament was not quite as crazy as others think it was. But making them an 11 seed? I feel as though both the 12 and 13 seeds in this region could definitely beat them. Losses to Colorado and Alabama do not look good for a tournament team. The Bruins now get the chance to face the talented and flawed SMU in the first round, so they may not be in for long.
I'm picking Davidson. Maybe I'm still living with the memory of Curry, but Davidson has a high powered offense this season and could be dangerous in that 10 spot. They hung on to Virginia and blew out most of the A-10. Their biggest downside on the resume was that loss to Saint Joe's and getting blown out by VCU last week, but I still think that they are underseeded.
Easiest to Like:
The media seems to be in love with Stephen F. Austin this year. Outside of their 1-3 start, the team has been downright impressive with only one other loss this season. Look for them to play a strong and physical defense that could cause problems for a lot of teams. Will they be the Cinderella team this year? Tune in and find out.
Fun to Watch:
Gonzaga. Ok, maybe this is very biased because I saw them on tv a lot this year, but I really like watching them play. The team has a strong offense and can make it rain from behind the arc. Also if you are not convinced, Kevin Pangos, Kevin Pangos, Kevin Pangos. The guy is a monster and has been making waves all season. Don't believe me? Just watch and enjoy. Many think that this is finally the year that they will reach the final four, and if the face Duke it will be a huge game.
Easy to Hate:
Duke. It is always Duke. For those that have not seen the fantastic ESPN 30 for 30 on Christian Laettner, I highly recommend it. The film also deals with why people do not like Duke in general. They win a lot, they see to get away with things, and they always seem to be better then you. This years Duke team is following a trend that seems to be newer for the Blue Devils, with a hot freshman player who will be one of the top picks in the draft. Also, Duke is the #1 seed, and does anyone actually like seeing a 1 seed make the final four or win it all?
I like #3 seed Iowa State. They played a brutal conference schedule in one of the top conferences and managed to knock off some of the best teams. Being tested in the season means that they will be ready for March Madness, so they may just make the elite 8 or farther in this tournament. The big test will be how they handle Gonzaga in the sweet 16, but look for Iowa State to be a dangerous team in the South. Which team do you think will be dangerous?
Georgetown-Stephen F. Austin. Again, the Media seems to love those Lumberjacks and many have picked them to knock off the Hoyas. Georgetown has been knocked out by a double digit seed in their last five tournaments. Now that does not necessarily mean that we are going to see an upset, but it does mean that we are in for a good first round matchup. The game is a late one, so be prepared.