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NCAA South Bracket: Is Michigan the Team to Beat?

MichiganNCAATeam_TreyBurke If it is possible for a team with two players named after their two fathers who starred in the NBA, a team with the nation’s best point guard, a team who spent multiple weeks in the top five and played in what was clearly the best conference in the nation, to be overlooked a bit going into the Sweet Sixteen, that may be what is happening to the Michigan Wolverines.

The Wolverines are the #4 seed going into their game with the #1 seed Kansas Jayhawks. But this is no typical 1 vs 4 seed match-up. A few weeks ago if you predicted this match in the Sweet Sixteen, many would have thought Michigan would be the one seed and Kansas the four. There is no drop-off as far as talent goes between these two teams. In fact, in the Round of 32, the Wolverines looked much better dispatching the #5 seed VCU Rams than the Jayhawks did in their first two games of the tournament, except possibly for the second half against the #8 seed North Carolina Tar Heels.

Bovada has Michigan +2 right now. That is nearly a dead heat for a basketball game. With Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Glenn Robinson III, Nik Stauskas and Mitch McGary, the Wolverines have a lineup that rivals any in the country. Burke is a Wooden and Naismith Award candidate. He dish and he can shoot the three pointer with anyone in the nation. When McGary sets a screen on an opposing player, many times he won’t get back up again. Stauskas can also shoot the three as can Hardaway. Robinson can score from both inside and outside.

The game with Kansas could decide the eventual national champion. Kansas boasts of one of the nation’s best lineups as well with point guard Travis Releford, shooting guard Ben McLemore and center Jeff Withey. Withey is one of the nation’s best shot blockers and McLemore is mentioned along with players like Burke and the Indiana Hoosiers star Victor Oladipo as perhaps the best player in the nation.

But even with this game of two of the giants of this tournament, most of the national attention in the South bracket has been paid to the other game between the Florida Gators and the Cinderella Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. The #15 seed FGCU Eagles have captured the nation’s attention. They are the first 15 seed ever to advance this far. And now they will face the standard bearer of athletic excellence in their home state, the Florida Gators.

Florida Gulf Coast is a 12.5 point underdog according to Bovada.

The Eagles not only beat two of their higher seeded opponents, the #2 Georgetown Hoyas and the #7 San Diego State Aztecs, but they did it in an entertaining and even dominating fashion. The Eagles looked a lot like the Los Angeles Clippers with their up tempo style and high flying dunks. So much so that Ft. Myers, Florida has been nick-named “Dunk City. ”

The Gators will be looking to advance to the Elite Eight for the third straight year. They were led by Mike Rosario and Erik Murphy in the Round of 32 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Rosario played so poorly in the first round game against Northwestern State he was benched. He responded against the Gophers with his carer high 27 points. May people, including President Obama, have the Gators winning this bracket.


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