NCAA Tournament: Bracket breakdown — South Regional

by Michael Baldwin Published: March 17, 2013

Here is our analysis of the South Regional of the men's NCAA Tournament

SOUTH ANALYSIS

Some argue the Midwest is a tougher region, but the South has five viable Final Four teams. Offensively-challenged Kansas will be vulnerable from the second round on but their suffocating defense (opponents shoot 35.8 percent) can produce another trip to the Final Four. The Hoyas are one of the nation's top defensive teams, but like Kansas, Georgetown sometimes has problems scoring. Florida is a sleeper national title contender. The Gators are one of the nation's best shooting teams (48.4 pct.) and have a stout defense (opponents shoot 37.3 pct.), a potent combination. Michigan has a ton of talent but is young. Bolstered by swarming, talented guard play, Virginia Commonwealth is more talented than its Final Four team.

UPSET SPECIAL

Minnesota over UCLA: The Gophers slumped down the stretch, going 2-7 but one of those wins was against Indiana. Minnesota has underachieved but can dominate the boards. The Gophers were a respectable 5-5 against top 25 teams, including wins over Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin. UCLA is vulnerable without guard Jordan Adams, who suffered a season-ending broken foot in the Pac 12 tournament.

SECOND-ROUND MATCHUPS

1 Kansas vs. 16 Western Kentucky: Senior C Jeff Withey and possible No. 1 overall draft pick Ben McLemore should cruise past the Hilltopers (20-15), a surprise Sun Belt tournament winner.

8 North Carolina vs. 9 Villanova: Roy Williams has a shot to face his former team (Kansas) but Tarheels (24-10) must first get past hot-and-cold Wildcats, who beat Louisville, Georgetown and Syracuse.

5 Va. Commonwealth vs. 12 Akron: The guard oriented Rams could make another extended run and should get past the Mid-America champions, who slumped down the stretch.

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by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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