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2011 NCAA Tournament Picks: Southeast



2011 NCAA Tournament Picks:
Sweet 16 Redo | East | West | Southwest | Southeast | Final Four | Winning Tips | 2011 NCAA Tournament Home
2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket Breakdowns:
West | East | Southwest | Southeast | Final Four | Schedule
2011 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Breakdowns:
West | Southeast |
2011 NCAA Tournament Preview:
ACC | Atlantic 10 | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Mid-Majors | Mountain West | Pac 10 | SEC



2011 NCAA Tournament: Southeast Bracket Picks


2011 NCAA Tournament: Southeast Bracket First Round



No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 16 UNC-Asheville
The Asheville-Little Rock matchup is a coin flip. Asheville has the better offense and defense, but does it really matter?

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1 Pittsburgh


No. 8 Butler vs. No. 9 Old Dominion
This is a pretty evenly matched game. Old Dominion has better numbers, but Butler's are a bit skewed because they played poorly in the middle of the season. The Bulldogs are a hot team entering this tournament on a nine-game winning streak.

However, Old Dominion is also enjoying a nine-game winning streak. This Monarchs team is basically the same one that went to the tournament last year, while Butler is missing several key players, including Gordon Heyward.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 9 Old Dominion


No. 5 Kansas State vs. No. 12 Utah State
How is Utah State a No. 12 seed? I've seen them projected as high as No. 8 or 9. Unfortunately, they have a tough matchup against Kansas State.

I'm done picking the Aggies to pull an upset. I do so every year, and they always disappoint. Head coach Stew Morrill's record in the NCAA Tournament is an abysmal 1-8.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 5 Kansas State


No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 Belmont
Bo Ryan has lost in the first round only once. I expect it to be twice after this game.

Wisconsin is struggling heading into the Big Dance. They lost in their opening Big Ten Tournament contest to Penn State. Before that, they were demolished at Ohio State. Overall, their defense is just 62nd.

Simon Belmont, meanwhile, is much better than a 13-seed. The Vampire Hunters are ranked 19th defensively and 32nd offensively. They're on a 12-game winning streak entering the NCAA Tournament. They shoot the three really well. And their 30 wins aren't an accident.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 13 Belmont


No. 6 St. John's vs. No. 11 Gonzaga
I'd love St. John's to make a deep run if it weren't for D.J. Kennedy's torn ACL. It's a damn shame because the Johnnies were playing so well.

And speaking of playing well, Gonzaga has won nine in a row entering the NCAA Tournament. They've been much better since giving David Stockton, son of John Stockton, a greater role.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 11 Gonzaga


No. 3 BYU vs. No. 14 Wofford
Wofford is 193rd defensively. How the hell are they going to stop Jimmer Fredette?

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 3 BYU


No. 7 UCLA vs. No. 10 Michigan State
Ugh. Why does Michigan State have to be in the tournament? It's a tough dilemma - if you pick them and they lose, you have to blame yourself for going with a crappy team. If you go against them and they win, you have to kick yourself for betting against Tom Izzo.

I'm going with Izzo - at least for one round.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 10 Michigan State


No. 2 Florida vs. No. 15 UC-Santa Barbara
UC-Santa Barbara is 115th defensively and 146th offensively. Florida is 36th defensively and 12th offensively. Hmm, tough one...

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 2 Florida





2011 NCAA Tournament: Southeast Bracket Second Round



No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 9 Old Dominion
Same story in this bracket. I'm not going to pick against Pittsburgh because No. 1 teams just don't lose in the second round (despite Kansas' choke job last year).

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1 Pittsburgh


No. 5 Kansas State vs. No. 13 Belmont
Kansas State has two things going against them. First, they have no real point guard, so they tend to commit a bunch of turnovers. And second, they lost their opening conference-tournament game, which is usually a bad sign for the Big Dance.

Belmont wins again. I really love this team.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 13 Belmont


No. 3 BYU vs. No. 11 Gonzaga
This is a tough one. BYU hasn't been very good since losing Brandon Davies to a stupid honor code violation. Gonzaga, meanwhile, is a common underachiever in the NCAA Tournament.

I'm going to pick the Cougars for two reasons. First, there's no guarantee that the Zags will even be here. And second, in one word: Jimmer.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 3 BYU


No. 2 Florida vs. No. 10 Michigan State
This has to be the end of the road for Michigan State, right? As awesome as Tom Izzo is, his team sucks this year.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 2 Florida







2011 NCAA Tournament: Southeast Bracket Sweet 16



No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 13 Belmont
I don't think Pittsburgh will get to the Final Four. I'll explain why in my Elite Eight write-up.

However, there's a much better chance that the Panthers will be here compared to Belmont, so I'm going to play the odds and pick the Panthers.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1 Pittsburgh


No. 2 Florida vs. No. 3 BYU
I picked BYU in the first two rounds because of Jimmer Fredette. But he can only carry the team so far without an inside presence.

Despite their loss to Kentucky in the SEC Championship, the Gators are a really good team. Billy Donovan knows how to win in March. Conversely, BYU's Dave Rose has never made it past the second round.

Here's another problem for BYU: They play their first two games in Tampa. After that, they'll be asked to travel to New Orleans. That's just too much mileage.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 2 Florida





2011 NCAA Tournament: Southeast Bracket Elite Eight



No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 2 Florida
I hinted at this earlier, but I don't like Pittsburgh for two reasons:

First, Jamie Dixon always disappoints in the NCAA Tournament. He's never made it to the Final Four despite coaching several great teams. I don't think this squad is as good as the 2009 version of the Panthers that lost in the Elite Eight to Villanova.

And second, Pittsburgh lost its first conference tournament game. Teams that go out early in their conference tournaments seldom have much success in the Big Dance.

2011 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 2 Florida



2011 NCAA Tournament Picks:
Sweet 16 Redo | East | West | Southwest | Southeast | Final Four | Winning Tips | 2011 NCAA Tournament Home
2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket Breakdowns:
West | East | Southwest | Southeast | Final Four | Schedule
2011 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Breakdowns:
West | Southeast |
2011 NCAA Tournament Preview:
ACC | Atlantic 10 | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Mid-Majors | Mountain West | Pac 10 | SEC






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