March Madness: NCAA South Region Tourney Preview

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TUCSON, AZ - FEBRUARY 08: Deandre Ayton #13 of the Arizona Wildcats defends Prince Ali #23 of the UCLA Bruins during the second half of the college basketball game at McKale Center on February 8, 2018 in Tucson, Arizona. The Bruins beat the Wildcats 82-74. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
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The South Region may prove to be the toughest regions to make it to the Final Four of any of the regions. Virginia is the number one seed overall in the tournament. However, the South Region also has Arizona, Cincinnati, Kentucky and Tennessee that are worth teams in their own right. This region will be full of excitement.

March Madness: South Region Preview

South Region Matchups (1st Round)

Thursday Games
(5) Kentucky vs. (12) Davidson
(4) Arizona vs. (13) Buffalo
(6) Miami vs. (11) Loyola (Chicago)
(3) Tennessee vs. (14) Wright State

Friday Games
(1) Virginia vs. (16) UMBC
(8)  Creighton vs. (9) Kansas State
(7) Nevada vs. (10) Texas
(2) Cincinnati vs. (15) Georgia State

Best Matchup to Watch

No. 7 Nevada vs. No. 10 Texas

Texas Longhorns are an experienced tourney team facing off against a high scoring Mountain West Conference team in Nevada Wolfpack. The Longhorns have a huge size advantage with 6’11” center Mo Bamba and 6’9” power forward Dylan Osetkowski. The Wolfpack are quicker and are very good shooters. However, Nevada went cold in their loss to the San Diego State Aztecs in the conference semifinals. It should be a great match up of quick and small vs. big and strong. Look for Texas to upset the Wolfpack.

Best Player to Watch

DeAndre Ayton, Arizona

DeAndre Ayton is slated to be one of the top picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Ayton averages 20.3 points per game and adds 11.5 rebounds per game. Ayton has been playing well lately scoring 32 points only two games ago. He is hard to stop unless teams have a big body or two to guard him. Arizona should go far into the tourney and fans will be able to witness a future NBA star in the making.

Most Likely Upset

No. 6 Miami vs. No. 11 Loyola Chicago

The Loyola Ramblers got their first NCAA tourney bid in 33 years. The Ramblers have one of the best defenses in the nation, allowing the 5th best 62.2 points per game. The Miami Hurricanes do not have an elite scorer and that means that Loyola may be able to shut the Hurricanes down. Loyola boast an all Overland, Kansas senior backcourt of Clayton Custer and Ben Richardson who have played together since 3rd grade. Richardson was named Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year. The senior guards may be able to help the Ramblers become the Cinderella of the tournament.

Prediction: South Region Winner

No. 2 Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Bearcats have held opponents to under 50 points eight times this season, which is second most in the nation. The Bearcats create turnovers that lead to easy scoring opportunities. The South Region is very strong, but if they can stick to their defensive strength, they may well win the region.

 

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