Wednesday, March 14, 2007

South Region Preview


The San Antonio Region is another region with some interesting storylines. Ohio State might have had a case for the overall #1 seed, but they got the third #1 seed. Memphis ran through Conference-USA and got the two, and Texas A&M, who has been solid all year, was pushed down to the three. Another interesting thing to look at is Louisville’s pod location. How did a six seed get to play in Lexington—about an hour from their campus? This looks to be an intriguing region.

Favorite: Ohio State. The Buckeyes are playing like one of the best teams in the country, especially after dominating the second half of the Big Ten Championship game. Greg Oden is a beast down low, and Mike Conley is a terrific point guard. Daequan Cook and Ron Lewis provide scoring on the wing. The Buckeyes lack inside depth, and consistent perimeter shooting, though.

Other Contenders: Memphis, Texas A&M. Outside of playing Gonzaga a few weeks ago, the Tigers haven’t faced anyone tough in months. Will that hurt John Calipari and co.? Memphis is full of athletes that can pressure the ball defensively and run the floor offensively. Chris Douglas-Roberts can score, and Jeremy Hunt can really shoot the ball off the bench. The Tigers have plenty of depth. Texas A&M was in position to potentially grab a top seed, but they lost to Texas in the final week of the season, and then lost to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament. However, they have great balance and the most clutch player in college basketball, Acie Law IV. Josh Carter is one of the best shooters around, and Antanas Kavaliauskas and Joseph Jones are tough down low.

Sleepers: Virginia, Tennessee, Louisville. The Cavaliers will go as far as their guards can take them. Luckily for them, UVA has one of the best backcourts around in Sean Singletary and J.R. Reynolds. Both can carry the Cavs for a game or two. Adrian Joseph and Mamadi Diane have to step up as a third option, though. Moreover, Virginia has be more consistent shooting the ball—if they aren’t hot, they will go home. Tennessee played very well down the stretch after an inconsistent start to SEC play. The Vols love to pressure the ball all game, and get points in transition. When they get into the half-court, Chris Lofton is their go-to-guy. He can shoot it from anywhere in the gym. Jajuan Smith can also score, while Dane Bradshaw is the consummate glue guy. They need inside help, though. Louisville is playing their first two rounds in Lexington, which could be a mixed blessing. The Cardinals are playing very well lately, and have options both inside and outside. David Padgett and Derrick Caracter are tough inside, and Terrence Williams is one of the best all-around players in the Big East. Beware, though, of their freshman point guard, Edgar Sosa.

Non-BCS Teams to Watch: Nevada, Creighton. Unfortunately, these two teams are playing each other. The Wolf Pack might have been in the mix for a protected seed before their loss in the WAC Tournament. Despite that, Nevada can make noise. Nick Fazekas is a legitimate All-American, and can dominate up front. Ramon Sessions is a very good point guard, and Marcelus Kemp can fill it up from the wing. They haven’t played top-quality competition, though. Creighton is a double-digit seed that can make a run. They were not very good in non-conference play, but excelled in the MVC, and won the conference tournament. Nate Funk is a big-time player on the perimeter, and Anthony Tolliver is one of the best post men in the conference. Josh Dotzler is a very good point guard, and is the key to the Bluejays.

Upset Pick: Long Beach State over Tennessee. Both teams love to get up and down the floor to score, but I think that LBSU has the guards to match-up with the Vols, and the 49ers also have the frontcourt balance to win. If LBSU can hold Chris Lofton from having a career game, UT might not have the guns to keep up with the 49ers. Keep an eye on the Albany-Virginia match-up, too.

Top Five Players (only one per team):
1. Acie Law, Texas A&M
2. Nick Fazekas, Nevada
3. Greg Oden, Ohio State
4. Sean Singletary, Virginia
5. Chris Lofton, Tennessee


  1. A top five list that does not include Kevin Durant? So much for the validity of the list.

  2. Um, since when was Kevin Durant in the South Region?

  3. How are the coeds at UD? Easy?

  4. How are the coeds at UD? Easy?