Bracket Series pt 4 (South Region)

Bracket Series- South Region

by Dwayne D.

TSX Bracket Series has made its way to the final region: The South, where North Carolina reigns supreme. The Madness starts tomorrow, and I still have brackets to fill out, so let’s take a look at the South, shall we?

1. North Carolina vs. 16. Radford

– In this game, UNC may not even need Ty Lawson, possibly not even in the second round. If you do not know, Lawson has a sore toe, and Roy Williams has said that he is not sure to even play him in the 1st round game on Thursday against the Highlanders. He will definitely be needed in the Sweet 16 though. In the meantime, the Tar Heels have Hansbrough, Ellington, and a great supporting cast who will make sure that the team will be fine. With Hansbrough on a mission to win a championship, I highly doubt if Radford will stand in the way.

8. LSU vs. 9. Butler

– LSU had a great season in what could be argued as a down year of the SEC, but the Horizon League regular season champions have the edge. Butler is a team that is built on defense and if Matt Howard and Gordon Hayward have their typical 14/6 nights, and along with shutting down SEC Player of the Year Marcus Thornton, Butler will clearly have the win this go-around. I see a good matchup between UNC and Butler in the 2nd round.

5. Illinois vs. 12. Western Kentucky

– Now last time I recall, WKU was in the tournament last year as a 12 seed, and knocked off #5 Drake 101-9 on a buzzer beating three pointer. So word to the Illini, beware of the upset. With four players averaging over 10 PPG, I anticipate balance. The one thing that can help Illinois in this one is their defense. This team gives up 56.6 PPG and if they can control the ball, and force turnovers, I see a W in their future. Still, this game is a major upset alert, so beware.

4. Gonzaga vs. 13. Akron

– The Zags are playing their best basketball right now, and I see them staying in the tournament for quite a while. Jeremy Pargo, Josh Heytvelt, Austin Daye, and Matt Bouldin are all keys to the game and keys to victory. I like Akron’s defensive mentality, but there is just way too much talent on this Gonzaga team to have any kind of upset. Then again, stranger things have happened.

6. Arizona State vs. 11. Temple

– Major upset alert- This game features two of the best scorers in the game. James Harden for Arizona State (20.8 PPG) and Dionte Christmas for Temple (19.2 PPG). We know these guys will get their points and carry their teams on their backs down the stretch. So this goes down to the supporting cast, and although Arizona State has a beast in Jeff Pendergraph, who leads the nation in FG percentage, and can get a double-double. Temple has more alternate scoring if Christmas is cold like a December. Therefore, I am going with Temple due to better role players.

3.  Syracuse vs. 14. Stephen F. Austin

– Syracuse has five scores averaging in double figures, and they have shown tremendous heart (does 6 OT’s ring a bell?) throughout the postseason. The Lumberjacks will not have fun because if they shut down one player, someone else will step up. I don’t see this game being all that close, and the Orange should not have to deal with a 6th OT this season (they’re 5-0 in OT games this season)

7. Clemson vs. 10. Michigan

– Honestly, it will not amaze me to figure out how Michigan got in and St. Mary’s did not, but I digress. Although it is great for a once proud hoops program to be back in the Tournament for the first time since 1998, I really think it will be a short stay. Clemson has Booker, Rivers, and Oglesby, and these players are just hungry for a big tournament run, especially after frustrating years where they started off great and came up short. Manny Harris and Deshaun Sims are great for the Wolverines, but sometimes they make the wrong decisions at crunch time, so this could be a hindrance to the Wolverines’ success in the tournament. That will go away in time, but this year will be the year of the Tiger… at least in this matchup.

2. Oklahoma vs. 15. Morgan State

–  Congratulations to the Bears, who are in the tourney for the first time as the MEAC Champions. The only way I can see the Bears winning is if Blake Griffin was a no-show. The Sooners have height, and Griffin is going to be way too much for that Bears frontline to handle. Don’t be surprised with a 30-20 performance in this game.

Well, TSX will return next week with the second round matchups and we will check out our brackets are doing also

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