2019 NCAA Tournament Picks: South

NCAA Tournament Picks: South | West | East | Midwest | Final Four

2019 NCAA Tournament Picks – South Bracket

By Walter Cherepinsky – @walterfootball

Rather than go through, game by game, I’m going to show you my selections on the brackets and post notes on some of the interesting contests:

Will Virginia lose in the opening round again!? Gardner Webb is the best No. 16 seed in the field, but I don’t think so. In fact, I think the Cavaliers are a great pick to win it all this year because everyone will be scared to make them their champions after what happened against UMBC last year.

Eight-nine games are coin flips, but there’s a huge disparity between how Ole Miss and Oklahoma have played on the road this year. The Rebels have had lots of success in away contests, while the Sooners have beaten three power-five teams as visitors all year, and none of those three opponents made the NCAA Tournament.

Oregon and UC-Irvine have big advantages, as they get to play on the West Coast. The Ducks were on fire to close out the year, winning their final eight games, so I think they can pull the upset. Meanwhile, UC-Irvine can beat an overseeded Kansas State squad that could be missing one of its top players, Dean Wade.

In the bottom half of the bracket, the NCAA has made it clear that they want to kick Villanova out of the tournament as quickly as possible. Saint Mary’s should be a No. 7 or 8 seed, as the two teams are close to each other. Saint Mary’s might actually be better, as Villanova had to scrape by some mediocre opponents to win the Big East Tournament.

There’s a good chance that the winner of Villanova-Saint Mary’s goes on to the Elite Eight, and I’ll have some differentiation in my various brackets for sure. This quadrant of the bracket has a pair of dud coaches in Rick Barnes (Tennessee) and Matt Painter (Purdue), both of whom have dubious NCAA Tournament resumes. It actually wouldn’t surprise me if they lose to Toothpaste University and Old Dominion, respectively.

NCAA Tournament Picks: South | West | East | Midwest | Final Four

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