Southwest Region Preview
March 14, 2011
Here is a preview of the Southwest Region and the odds for each team at 5Dimes to win the NCAA Tournament.
Kansas (4.75/1) is the top seed in the region and they come into the Big Dance hot winning the Big 12 Conference tournament. The Jayhawks were 5-1 against ranked teams in the season and they have a great all-around team. Their possible regional finals match up against Notre Dame would be a sweet one. Kansas flamed out last season, as the team with the best odds to win it all and will it happen again?
Second seed Notre Dame (23/1) must hit the long ball to make the Final 4 with Big East Player of the Year Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis, who can both knock down the three with the best of them.
Fourth seed Louisville (25/1) played in the toughest conference in the nation in the Big East and they advanced to the conference tournament final. The Cardinals have one of the best backcourts in the nation and they were 5-6 against ranked teams on the season.
Maybe With a Little Luck
Purdue (27/1) got the third seed, but they lost their last couple of games on the season. The Boilermakers are not a deep team and for them to make it out of the region they will need great performances from F/C JaJuan Johnson (20.5 ppg 8.2 rpg) and G E'Twaun Moore (18.2 ppg).
Fifth seed Vanderbilt (131/1) and sixth seed Georgetown (101/1) both are solid teams, but neither finished the season well. This is especially the case for the Hoyas, who lost their last 4 games of the season. Vanderbilt lost their last 3 games of the season against ranked teams and face a dark horse Richmond team in the first round.
Seventh seed Texas A&M (301/1) did make it to the Big 12 conference tournament semis, but they did not play well against elite talent this season losing badly to Texas three times and Kansas once. Their opening round game against 10th seed Florida State is no gimmie and then they will likely face Notre Dame. Yeah, that’s is why the Aggies are at 301/1 to win the Big Dance.
I would have to say it would be more than luck for eighth seed UNLV (116/1) or ninth seed Illinois (126/1) to make it out of the Southwest Region. Why? Well besides probably having to play Kansas in the second round the Runnin' Rebels were only 1-5 this season against teams ranked in the top 25 and the Fighting Illini fell apart in the second half of the season losing 9 of their last 15 games.
12th seed Richmond (351/1) is a hot team winning their last seven straight games including beating a ranked Temple team to win the Atlantic 10 conference tournament. On top of that the Spiders have scored some big upsets in the Big Dance.