NCAA Tournament 2014: South Region Predictions

NCAA Tournament: Predicting the South Region

3/17/14 in NCAABB   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

Mar 16, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; The Florida Gators celebrate defeating the Kentucky Wildcats in the championship game for the SEC college basketball tournament at Georgia Dome. Florida won 61-60. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY SportsThe bracket has finally been announced for the 2014 NCAA tournament, and teams all across the country now know where they'll be headed to try and make their march towards the Final Four in Arlington.

We're going to roll through each region and provide predictions on who will win each game, and we start things off with the South region.

The South is headlined by the Florida Gators, the top overall seed in the tournament and winners of 26 straight games. That statistics isn't exactly what other higher seeds in this region want to see, as Billy Donovan's club are playing some pretty outstanding basketball right now.

Kansas, Syracuse, and UCLA round out the top four in the South, and given the parity in college basketball this season, no one should count out possible Final Four runs for any of these teams.

Let's run through the South region and make a prediction as to who will represent this region in the Final Four.

Quick Thoughts:
  • The 5 vs. 12 game ALWAYS produces an upset. And with that in mind, look no further than the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks to make that happen in this year's tournament. It takes a special team to win 28 games in a row, and the Lumberjacks have balance to go along with excellent three-point shooting. VCU is usually a sexy sleeper pick, but this year they'll be on the wrong side of that.
  • It would be an understatement to say that Dayton is excited to play Ohio State. This is the Flyers' chance to knock off the big dog in the state, so this one will be fun to watch.
  • Kansas is in a tough spot with a potential second round matchup with New Mexico looming. Especially considering that Joel Embiid likely won't be playing in that game. The Lobos got hosed in getting a seven seed, and the Jayhawks will be the ones to find out that this team is for real.
  • There's a reason why the Gators are the top overall seed. From top to bottom, they're the best in this region, and it's hard to see anyone stopping them. They have the depth and the defense to win this whole thing.
And now for the South bracket predictions:​

SECOND ROUND  (Reminder: the play-in games are now referred to as the official first round)

#1 Florida over #16 Albany
#9 Pittsburgh over #8 Colorado
#12 Stephen F. Austin over #5 VCU
#4 UCLA over #13 Tulsa
#6 Ohio State over #11 Dayton
#3 Syracuse over #14 Western Michigan
#7 New Mexico over #10 Stanford
#2 Kansas over #15 Eastern Kentucky

THIRD ROUND

#1 Florida over #9 Pittsburgh
#12 Stephen F. Austin over #4 UCLA
#6 Ohio State over #3 Syracuse
#7 New Mexico over #2 Kansas

SWEET 16

#1 Florida over #12 Stephen F. Austin
#7 New Mexico over #6 Ohio State

REGIONAL FINAL

#1 Florida over #7 New Mexico

Who are you picking to win the South region? Let us know by commenting below! For more NCAA tournament coverage, follow FanIQ or myself on Twitter!

 
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