2016 NCAA Tournament Picks: South



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2016 NCAA Tournament Picks – South Bracket

By Walter Cherepinsky – @walterfootball


NCAA Tournament Picks: South Bracket First Round



No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Austin Peay
I’m looking forward to this game, just so I can discover whether it’s pronounced “Austin Pee” or “Austin Pay.”

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1 Kansas


No. 8 Colorado vs. No. 9 Connecticut
Congratulations to the NCAA Selection Committee, which put together what might be the worst bracket in its history. Colorado is one of the lowest-rated teams to ever make it to the Big Dance as an at-large, and yet they’re a No. 8 seed! What the hell? Connecticut is a much better team, and it’s entering the tournament on a hot streak. The committee finalizes its bracket Saturday night, so UConn’s victory over Memphis on Sunday afternoon didn’t count in terms of seeding; otherwise, it would be higher.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 9 Connecticut


No. 5 Maryland vs. No. 12 South Dakota State
I think this is the second-most probable 12-5 upset. Maryland is a fairly weak No. 5 seed (they should be a No. 6), and the team has some sketchy internal issues it’s dealing with right now. However, South Dakota State hasn’t been tested much this year, as Texas Tech was the only top-80 opponent it battled this year. The Red Raiders, who aren’t very good, won that game by 12. The Terps, 3-5 in their final eight games heading into the tournament, might be able to get one more victory, but that’s probably it.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 5 Maryland


No. 4 California vs. No. 13 Hawaii
Of the four-seeds, California is the second-worst, only to Duke. The Golden Bears should be a No. 5, so this isn’t an egregious ranking. Meanwhile, Hawaii is the best No. 13 seed in the Big Dance, and only Iona is really close. I want to pick one 13 to beat a four, so here we are. The Rainbow Warriors are tested, as they nearly beat Oklahoma earlier in the year, losing by only three points.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 13 Hawaii




No. 6 Arizona vs. No. 11 Wichita State
This was the first sign that we got that the 2016 NCAA Tournament seeding was going to be the worst in history. When Arizona was announced on the No. 6 line, I was shocked. The Wildcats are a top-15 team and thus should be a four, at the very worst. And then Wichita State was slotted as a play-in team, which was an absolute joke. The Shockers are the 11th-best team in the country. They’re a No. 3 seed. Sliding them in as a No. 11 is a freaking joke. I can’t believe these a**holes are getting away with this.

Anyway, I think I’m taking Wichita State here. This is a 50-50 matchup on paper, but the NCAA boned Arizona. The Wildcats have to fly out all the way to Providence, making this matchup even more difficult.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 11 Wichita State


No. 3 Miami vs. No. 14 Buffalo
The Dolphins may not be as good as the Bills, but Miami will beat Buffalo quite easily in this college basketball matchup.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 3 Miami


No. 7 Iowa vs. No. 10 Temple
Iowa fell on hard times to close out the season, but I think the team is talented enough to rebound. Fran McCaffrey is a good coach, and the time off could do the Hawkeyes well. Iowa is much better than Temple, which is the worst at-large team in the tournament. In fact, the Owls are the worst-ranked team I’ve ever tracked to qualify for the Big Dance.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 7 Iowa


No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 15 UNC-Asheville
UNC-Asheville is probably going to hang around for a while, but Villanova will avoid embarrassment and pull away at the very end.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 2 Villanova





NCAA Tournament Picks: South Bracket Second Round



No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Connecticut
It’s really a shame that Kansas has the most-talented team in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Bill Self is a terrible coach whose tournament track record is abysmal. I want to be bold and have the Jayhawks lose to Connecticut, which is should be a No. 6 seed but… I just can’t. Kansas is just too talented and too experienced to fall here.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1 Kansas


No. 5 Maryland vs. No. 13 Hawaii
I talked about how Maryland has some glaring internal issues. Also going against the Terps is that they have to fly out all the way to Spokane, Wash. and somehow win two games. I think that’s going to be too much to ask, so they’ll fall to either California or Hawaii. I have the Rainbow Warriors advancing out of the first round, so they’ll be known as this year’s Cinderella.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 13 Hawaii




No. 3 Miami vs. No. 11 Wichita State
This is the most ridiculous regional I can ever remember. It’s completely loaded, unlike the West, which was designed as a cake walk for Duke. Miami, Wichita State and Arizona (whom I have the Shockers beating in Round 1), are all top-15 teams. Miami and Wichita State are dead even (Nos. 12 and 11 in the country, respectively), but the Hurricanes have the much-better chance of being here, so I’m going to hedge my bets and pick them to advance.

Update: After thinking it over, I’m going with Wichita State. Maybe they lose to Arizona, but they’re one of the top 10 teams in the tournament, so I don’t want them going out in the second round.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 11 Wichita State


No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 7 Iowa
We all should be familiar with Villanova’s act by now. The Wildcats look great in the regular season and then struggle in the tournament, losing in the second round. And I mean the real second round; the play-in games are not the first round; I don’t care what anyone says.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 7 Iowa





NCAA Tournament Picks: South Bracket Sweet 16



No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 13 Hawaii
Ehh… not picking Kansas to lose here either. Hawaii’s glass slipper turns into a lei-covered pumpkin.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 1 Kansas


No. 7 Iowa vs. No. 11 Wichita State
Go Wheat Shockers. Make me proud.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 11 Wichita State



NCAA Tournament Picks: South Bracket Elite Eight



No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 11 Wichita State
Bill Self will be crapping his pants before this game. He’s utterly terrified of Wichita State, which is why he won’t schedule them. Self is not a good coach, as evidenced by his early tournament losses, so the Shockers figure to have their way again with the Jayhawks.

2016 NCAA Tournament Pick: No. 11 Wichita State




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