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3 Bold Predictions for the South Region


Yesterday, we took on the wild West region of the 2013 NCAA Tournament bracket and revealed our four bold predictions, which included the team we thought would emerge from the West. We’ll give the same treatment to the South region today, a portion of the bracket that seems to have some bigger guns, and thus will require even bolder predictions. Here’s what will happen in the South:

1. Kansas Will NOT Win the South Region

We shot down No. 1 seed Gonzaga’s chances to win the West yesterday and we’re doing the same to Kansas, but for very different reasons. Unlike the Zags, the Jayhawks played a fairly strong schedule in the Big 12 and have impressed fans and bettors all year long – especially down the stretch. Kansas’ biggest problem right now is that it simply has too many mines to step over in the South region and there’s enough potential danger there that it is likely to go down somewhere along the way.

Assuming Kansas gets past No. 16 Western Kentucky, it will have agruably the toughest second round match-up of any team in the tournament, as it takes on either North Carolina or Villanova. Both potential foes went through difficult schedules and have the type of talent to compete with any team in the country.

Then even if the Jayhawks advance to the Sweet Sixteen, they’ll likely have to contend with either giant killer VCU, or Michigan. The Rams of VCU have given just about everyone fits over the last couple of seasons and Michigan is a team that was ranked No. 1 at one point during the regular season.

Kansas definitely has its own talented group, one that is capable of making a run, but in the South there’s no room for error, especially at the top of the bracket. Look for Kansas to slip up somewhere along the line.

2. Minnesota Will Knock off UCLA

For anyone that’s been keeping track of the Bruins over the last week, this one isn’t as bold as number one. However, many bettors are probably simply looking at the match-up and penciling higher seed UCLA into the next round. This would be a mistake.

For those of you who are not aware, UCLA’s second leading scorer, freshman phenom Jordan Adams, is out for the rest of the tourney will an injury. The Bruins have played halfway decent without him, but up against a team like the Golden Gophers, his absence will likely be the kiss of death.

Minnesota has been inconsistent this season (to say the least), but when the Gophers are on, they are very on. Minnesota proved this in upset wins against Michigan State, Indiana, Wisconsin and Memphis this season. Take the Gophers to advance to the round of 32.

3. Georgetown Will Win the South and Advance to the Final Four

Kansas, Florida, Michigan and even VCU seem to be popular picks with experts and analysts for who will come out of the South region this year. However, the one strong team that seems to be getting overlooked is Georgetown.

That’s probably because the Hoyas aren’t particularly flashy and even really that fun to watch. They only scored an average of 64.6 points per game this season, yet they shot 45.6 percent from the field and won 25 games. How is this possible? Defense and very few turnovers.

The Hoyas have the kind of game that will take them deep into the tournament. They play solid, fundamentally sound half-court basketball, and they do pretty much everything well. Their well-rounded and balanced attack will serve them well and as a team that makes few mistakes, they certainly aren’t going to beat themselves. Take Georgetown to win the South region and thank me later.

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