2013 NCAA Tournament Picks: South


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2013 NCAA Tournament: South Bracket Picks


2013 NCAA Tournament: South Bracket First Round



No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Western Kentucky
If Kansas were playing Southern Kentucky or Northern Kentucky, I’d think about an upset. Western Kentucky? Nah.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1 Kansas


No. 8 North Carolina vs. No. 9 Villanova
How is North Carolina a No. 8 seed? The Heels were so hot down the stretch after Roy Williams made the proper adjustments after getting blown out at Miami. Villanova has proven that it can beat bad teams, but Jay Wright’s squad has been so inconsistent this year. By the way, Vegas has North Carolina as a 4.5-point favorite.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 8 North Carolina


No. 5 VCU vs. No. 12 Akron
Jay Bilas said that VCU’s draw in this tournament is fantastic. I couldn’t agree more. Akron’s starting point guard is out. The Zips are toast.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 5 VCU


No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 13 South Dakota State
A 13-seed has beaten a 4-seed in each of the previous five tournaments. South Dakota State has the best chance to extend that streak. Nate Wolters, who is obviously named after me, is one of the top players in the nation. He and his teammates are very experienced and seem poised to shock the world. The Wolverines are a team that can lose to anyone – as evidenced by their defeat at Penn State – so I don’t see them getting up for this game.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 13 South Dakota State




No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 11 Minnesota
Minnesota is favored over UCLA for a reason. The Bruins lost their second-leading scorer, Jordan Adams, to a season-ending injury. They’re not going far in the tournament.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 11 Minnesota


No. 3 Florida vs. No. 14 Northwestern State
How jealous is Northwestern right now? The Wildcats have never – NEVER – made the tournament, while Northwestern State has been in the Big Dance a couple of times this century. This Northwestern-Northwestern State rivalry is very heated, so I can only imagine how furious the Northwestern alums are right now.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 3 Florida


No. 7 San Diego State vs. No. 10 Oklahoma
San Diego State and Oklahoma are very close in my tournament rankings, coming in at 40 and 45, respectively. The Sooners overtake the Aztecs, however, when factoring in travel. San Diego State has to go all the way to Philadelphia to play this game, which will make it difficult for them to win.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 10 Oklahoma


No. 2 Georgetown vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast
Florida Gulf Coast is not to be taken lightly; the team beat Miami earlier in the year. However, taking a 15 over a 2-seed is never a good idea, even though it happened twice last year.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 2 Georgetown





2013 NCAA Tournament: South Bracket Second Round



No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 8 North Carolina
I’m very tempted to go with North Carolina over Kansas – I have them 10th and 11th in my rankings, respectively – but once again, I’m going to hedge my bet. There’s no guarantee the Tar Heels will beat the Wildcats, while Kansas won’t have any issues with Western Kentucky.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1 Kansas


No. 5 VCU vs. No. 13 South Dakota State
Michigan can get tripped up against South Dakota State, but not Shaka Smart’s VCU squad. VCU, understanding what it means to come out of nowhere to shock a power-conference team, will be prepared for Nate Wolters and company.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 5 VCU




No. 3 Florida vs. No. 11 Minnesota
Some of the guys on the forum like Minnesota to upset Florida. I don’t. First of all, there’s no guarantee that the Gophers will even beat UCLA. And second, this Minnesota squad couldn’t win on the road, finishing 3-9 away from home this season. The Gophers even lost at Nebraska. Teams that struggle on the road often exit quickly in the NCAA Tournament.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 3 Florida


No. 2 Georgetown vs. No. 10 Oklahoma
Georgetown, over the years, has been upset by lower seeds because the team has often failed to get up for those opponents. I’m not a believer in John Thompson III for that reason. But once again, I’m going to hedge my bet because the Oklahoma-San Diego State matchup is basically a coin flip.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 2 Georgetown





2013 NCAA Tournament: South Bracket Sweet 16



No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 5 VCU
VCU upset Kansas in the Elite Eight a couple of years ago. Will history repeat itself? I think so. I have VCU slotted higher than Kansas in my rankings, so why not?

This is great matchup for the Rams. Kansas’ weakness is the point guard position. The Jayhawks have no true floor general. That spells major trouble against a VCU squad that is No. 1 in turnover percentage, according to KenPom.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 5 VCU


No. 2 Georgetown vs. No. 3 Florida
I don’t know why everyone’s so down on Florida. The Gators are fifth in adjusted offense and second in adjusted defense, making them first overall according to KenPom. They drain their threes and don’t turn the ball over. They force a good amount of steals. They also have 13 conference victories of 15 or more, which is important because a high number of blowout wins usually leads to good tournament success.

Oh, and most importantly, they have Billy Donovan. Florida almost always advances at least one round further than predicted because of Donovan’s excellent coaching. Georgetown, on the other hand, has disappointed under John Thompson III. In fact, JT3 has made it past the Sweet 16 only once in his coaching career.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 3 Florida



2013 NCAA Tournament: South Bracket Elite Eight



No. 3 Florida vs. No. 5 VCU
VCU had a big edge over Kansas because of the Jayhawks’ lack of a point guard. That’s exactly why the Jayhawks are 168th in turnover percentage. Florida is a solid 55th. The Gators, as mentioned, take care of the basketball.

I like both of these teams, as their coaches usually go far in the tournament. But for the first time this March, Shaka Smart doesn’t have a clear edge over the guy on the other sideline.

2013 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 3 Florida



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