2011 NCAA Tournament Predictions: Southwest Region

March 16, 2011

For teams in the Southwest Region, a trip from San Antonio (site of the regional semifinals and finals) is a stone’s throw away from Houston. Will that serve as an advantage to whichever team makes it out of this region? Only time will tell, but for now, here is my Southwest Region breakdown.

First Round Games to Watch

#4 Louisville vs. #13 Morehead State (Thurs, 1:40 pm)

You’ve heard the stories; now it’s time to see if the man they talk about as “a freak on the boards” is fact or myth. As someone who has already seen Kenneth Faried play, here’s a little tip: believe the hype. Faried will not be shut down completely by the Cardinals on Thursday afternoon, only contained…if that. As a relatively young team, Louisville will need to come out ready to play tough for forty minutes, or someone like Faried, with prior tournament experience, will make it look like a game of boys amongst men. This game has the potential to be a great watch, and if Rick Pitino & Co. aren’t careful, a shocker.

#6 Georgetown vs. # 11 VCU (Fri, following Purdue vs. St. Peter’s)

VCU looked good in tonight’s game vs. USC, and showed the nation that decided to watch that they do in fact belong in the tournament. What will be interesting to watch is whether the Rams can bounce back after only two days rest to challenge a Georgetown team that has been streaky at best. VCU likes to pressure teams and create turnovers, and does a nice job holding their own against bigger, stronger teams. However, Georgetown’s recent losing streak may be due in large part to the absence of guard Chris Wright, who will be making his return in the Hoyas second round matchup after breaking his hand back in February. This game has the potential to go either way.

Team That Could Make a Run


There aren’t a lot of teams other than the highest seeds that look to have the tools necessary to take down the likes of Notre Dame and Kansas in this region, so Purdue will have to do for this section. The Boilermakers are a very balanced offensive team thanks to the duo of forward JuJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore, and both only have one shot left to make it to a Final Four. Purdue is usually a safe bet to make it out of the opening round (they are 4-0 in first round games under coach Matt Painter), but a lot more will be expected of this Boilermaker team. Luckily, they have the talent and experience to make a deep run.

My Picks

2nd Round

#1 Kansas over #16 Boston University

#8 UNLV over #9 Illinois

#12 Richmond over #5 Vanderbilt (upset alert)

#4 Louisville over #13 Morehead State

#6 Georgetown over #11 VCU

#3 Purdue over #14 St. Peter’s

#7 Texas A&M over #10 Florida State

#2 Notre Dame over #15 Akron

3rd Round

#1 Kansas over #8 UNLV

#12 Richmond over #4 Louisville (upset alert)

#3 Purdue over #6 Georgetown

#2 Notre Dame over #7 Texas A&M

Sweet 16

#1 Kansas over #12 Richmond

#2 Notre Dame over #3 Purdue

Elite 8

#1 Kansas over #2 Notre Dame

– K. Becks

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