South Regional Preview: Wildcats Galvanized

Associated Press

The South Region consists of the #1 overall and hottest team in America in Virginia, but it also has quite possibly the toughest region of the four. Welcome to the #1 overall seed Virginia! Whether it be Virginia, Arizona, Kentucky, or somebody else coming out of the South, whoever it is has a great chance of cutting down the nets in a few weeks. Whoever battles out of this region and ends up the final four will have been testing unlike any other team while getting their.

Three initial thoughts

1. Virginia got hosed for #1

No game in the NCAA Tournament is going to be easy, but having the #1 overall seed should give you a little easier of a path. Not for Virginia. If seeds hold, Virginia will have to face a high powered Creighton team, a hot Arizona team that is playing on a mission to prove the NCAA wrong for the Sean Miller case, and a Cincinnati team that plays as good defense as Virginia. Let’s not forget that if Kentucky gets past Davidson and Arizona Virginia would play a team that is playing as good as anyone right now. Good luck Virginia and congratulations on winning the toughest conference in all of America, the ACC.

2. Nevada could break some brackets

I’m not saying Nevada is going to even win their first game, but this team has high major talent (Martin twins) and an NBA coach (Eric Musselman) who could make a serious run in this region. Nevada has been ranked in the Top 25 for about 35% of the season, won the Mountain West regular season, and also boost a Top-10 offense in efficiency. Let’s not forget, this team was a trendy upset pick last year before they lost to Iowa State in the first round, but they returned junkyard dog Jordan Caroline, and have transfers in Kendall Stephens (Purdue) as well as Cody and Caleb Martin (NC State) and have a path (Texas, and Cincinnati) that could see them in the second weekend.

3. Arizona might be the scariest team in the tournament

I’m not even going to talk about DeAndre Ayton, the best college basketball player, right now. Sometimes an FBI investigation can totally tear a team apart and send them in the wrong direction, but I believe it is sending this team in the complete opposite direction. After Allonzo Trier was suspended for a couple games because of a doping mixup and Sean Miller didn’t coach a game because of the whole money dispute with Ayton, the Wildcats seem to be galvanized. Arizona won the Pac 12 tournament, winning all three games by double digits, and now head into the NCAA tournament as a #4 seed and playing the best basketball they have played all season. They will be a popular Final Four pick and well deserved.

Top matchup I want to see:

Kentucky vs Arizona, 2nd round: What more do we want to see other than two conference tournament winners and the best player in college basketball in Ayton.

Best 1st round matchup:

Kentucky vs Davidson: Kentucky has immense talent, but Davidson is scorching hot and if they shoot the ball well from three Kentucky could be in trouble. Watch out for Peyton Aldridge!

Upset to watch for:

Loyola-Chicago over Miami: Loyola-Chicago predicates their game plan on defense and they have a kid by the name of Clayton Cluster who can score 30 on any given night. If Loyola-Chicago can hang around with Miami expect the Canes to get tight and break down defensively.

Final four prediction:

Arizona over Cincinnati: Arizona is rolling right now and I believe the FBI investigation has brought them closer together. As much as I wanted to take Nevada here I believe their lack of depth hurts them in a rugged game against Cincinnati and the Bearcats do just enough offensively to get through a weaker bottom half of the region. Welcome to San Antonio Arizona!

Associated Press