Southeast Region Preview
March 14, 2011
First of all I have to say the Southeast Region is the weakest of all the regions and there are many teams that have a good chance to advance to the Final 4.
Here is a preview of the Southeast Region and the odds for each team at 5Dimes to win the NCAA Tournament.
Pittsburgh (8.15/1) won the very tough Big East on the season, but they lost three or their last six games AND they lost in their first game of the conference tournament. However, the Panthers have a great all around team, have a great backcourt, can rebound, and have a good defense. Pitt was 6-3 this season against ranked teams.
Florida (29/1) may be a good betting pick, as even though they lost to Kentucky in the SEC tournament championship game they won their previous four games with two of those games coming against ranked teams. Florida can drain the three and hit the boards, but their defense has given up seven more points per game than their season averaging in their last three games.
Fourth ranked Wisconsin (51/1) lost their last two games of the season, but they did beat top-ranked Ohio State this season and they have the nation’s fourth ranked defense in terms of opponents’ points per game.
Maybe With a Little Luck
BYU (51/1) needs a ton of luck, as even though they are the third seed they will need a HUGE tournament from stud G Jimmer Fredette since the Cougars suspended leading rebounder and third leading scorer Brandon Davies.
Fifth seed Kansas State (46/1) ended the season well winning their last six games before losing their first game in the Big 12 tournament. They have one of the best guards in the nation in Jacob Pullen and they are a great team on the boards, but they face a big time sleeper in Utah State in the first round.
St. John’s (61/1) beat five ranked teams this season and they will not be intimidated by any team since they played in the killer Big East.
There are quite a few sleepers in the Southeast Region and maybe the biggest may be 12th seed Utah State. The Aggies won 30 games this season, won the WAC, and rank second in the nation in opponents’ points allowed. Even though UCLA (176/1) is the seventh seed the Bruins lost two of their last three games and they were only 2-2 against ranked teams on the season. Obviously I have to put Butler (276/1) in the sleepers’ category, as they made it to the finals of the Big Dance last season and they won their last nine games of the season. Last season’s Final 4 team Michigan State (111/1) was only .500 in conference play, but if they can catch fire they have a chance to repeat on last season’s success.