South Region

March 17, 2010
By K. Becks

Less than one day away until the tip off of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. The more I look at it, the more I think that this tournament could be one of the more interesting ones in the last few years, simply because of its uncertainty. No team is a heavy favorite entering this tournament, and anywhere from eight to twelve teams have a real, legitimate shot of cutting down the nets in April.

My last bracket breakdown features the South Region, which many people have been labeling as the weakest region of the four. However, I think this bracket has the potential to get crazy and produce some of the more memorable games of the tournament.

First Round Games to Watch

#4 Purdue vs. #13 Siena (Fri, 2:30 pm)

Many people are wondering whether or not Purdue can put up a fight after losing Robbie Hummel for the season with an injured knee. However, before you pencil in the Siena Saints as your upset special, be warned that this year’s Saints team does not have a marquee win on their schedule. In fact, they lost virtually every big game that they scheduled out of conference. They do have experience though, which isn’t something to take lightly. This game has generated a good bit of interest already, and is definitely one to keep tabs on Friday afternoon.

#7 Richmond vs. #10 St. Mary’s (Thurs, 2:50 pm)

This game is not receiving as much hype as it deserves. Richmond is a very talented team who (like another A-10 conference team….ahem, Temple) has been flying under the radar most of the season. The Spiders are led by Atlantic-10 Player of the Year Kevin Anderson, and feature a very athletic starting lineup. St. Mary’s is led by center Omar Samhan, who can play heads up with any big man in the nation. The Gaels play great team basketball, and finding the open man against a tough Richmond defense is a must if they want to have success. Whichever team comes out of this game the winner has a great chance of upsetting Villanova (the likely candidate to be the second round opponent for one of these teams), which makes this game all that more interesting to watch.

Team That Could Make a Run

Louisville

This team has all the tools to be a top seed. The problem is that they don’t always seem to bring their A-game to the court. Regardless, Rick Pitino is one of the best in the nation at preparing his team for tournament games, and with the talent that he has at his expense, don’t be surprised if Louisville knocks off top seeded Duke and rides that momentum all the way to the Final Four. The Cardinals are an extremely dangerous nine seed.

My Picks

First Round

#1 Duke over #16 Arkansas-Pine Bluff
#9 Louisville over #8 California
#12 Utah State over #5 Texas A&M (upset alert)
#4 Purdue over #13 Siena
#11 Old Dominion over #6 Notre Dame (upset alert)
#3 Baylor over #14 Sam Houston State
#7 Richmond over #10 St. Mary’s
#2 Villanova over #15 Robert Morris

2nd Round

#1 Duke over #9 Louisville
#12 Utah State over #4 Purdue (upset alert)
#3 Baylor over #11 Old Dominion
#2 Villanova over #7 Richmond

Sweet 16

#1 Duke over #12 Utah State
#2 Villanova over #3 Baylor

Elite 8

#1 Duke over #2 Villanova

Now that I’ve given you my regional champions, here are my picks for the Final Four games.

Final Four

National Semi-Finals

#1 Kansas over #2 Kansas State
#2 West Virginia over #1 Duke

Championship

#1 Kansas over #2 West Virginia

So, there you have it; my complete bracket for the 2010 NCAA Tournament. If you’d rather not scroll through my last three days of posts to find my picks (I’m with you; I wouldn’t want to either), you can view all of my picks right here: http://games.espn.go.com/tcmen/en/entry?entryID=4299515.

Also, in an effort to attract more readers to my blog, I have decided to put up an NCAA Tournament widget that allows you to keep up on the tournament happenings right from the blog! I know…I’m going to be spending my entire day on the blog too…

Hopefully we are just hours away from experiencing a great March Madness. Good luck to all the teams participating.

- K. Becks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*