2009 NCAA Tournament South Region Bracket Seeding
1 – North Carolina, 2 – Oklahoma, 3 – Syracuse, 4 – Gonzaga
5 – Illinois, 6 – Arizona State, 7 – Clemson, 8 – LSU
9 – Butler, 10 – Michigan, 11 – Temple, 12 – W. Kentucky,
13 – Akron, 14 – Stephen F. Austin, 15 – Morgan State,
16 – Radford (LET’S GO! BEAT NORTH CAROLINA!!!!)
On the night of March 19th, these teams will begin their journey on their way to a potential National Championship run in Detroit on April 6th. Compared to the other regions in the tournament and the opportunity for the #1 seed (in this case, North Carolina) to make it to the Final Four, I rank the South Region as the 4th toughest bracket (the easiest) out of the field.
Egh, you mean I have to talk about North Carolina now? Dang it. I guess if I have to, I will…I just won’t like doing it. Depending on Ty Lawson’s foot, UNC should have a relatively easy cakewalk (which of course makes me upset) to the Elite 8 until they run into a stacked Oklahoma Sooner team led by potential NBA All-Star Blake Griffin. Without Lawson in the first round, I think UNC will struggle out of the blocks against Radford. Obviously, if UNC were to lose as a #1 seed against Radford (who, by the way, leads the country in STDs instead of scoring….well, ironically they could technically lead the nation in scoring…if you get my drift), I would be in all my glory. I wouldn’t care about what happened the rest of the tournament. Unfortunately, this only has a miracle’s chance of actually happening. The NCAA tourney committee says “Your Welcome” North Carolina. In the LSU-Butler matchup, this game comes down to size vs. shooting. If Butler plays it’s up and down the court game and shoots well from the floor, they will be able to overcome LSU’s size and pull out the victory. However, whoever wins this coin flip will likely get beaten up on my Carolina in the second round, assuming they have Ty Lawson back and healthy.
An always exciting matchup is the 5-12 game out of any region. In this case, it is no different. UPSET ALERT! UPSET ALERT! UPSET ALERT!Western Kentucky is willing and ready to play spoiler against Illinois. As the 12 seed, they are automatically considered dangerous. I like them a lot here. Go Toppers! They will likely play a very talented team from Gonzaga. However, in the Round of 32, I like Western Kentucky to pull another upset and knock out the ‘Zags, who are usually a tournament letdown. They usually have talent, but can’t hack it when tournament pressure arrives. Go Toppers once again! At the bottom of the South regional, I like Arizona State, Syracuse, and Oklahoma to take care of business with no problems. However, in the 7-10 matchup, I think Clemson will struggle with consistency (like usual as they are typically overrated) and lose to a red-hot, developing Michigan Wolverine squad. In the next round, I look for Oklahoma to again take care of Michigan with Blake Griffin absolutely dominating the glass on both ends of the floor and producing all kinds of numbers. I expect Syracuse to continue to play well, led by Jonny Flynn, and beat AZ State, but then succumb to size and fatigue against Oklahoma in the Sweet 16.
Back up at the top of the bracket, UNC will again play its game at run the Toppers ragged in the Sweet 16 and set up an intriguing matchup with Oklahoma in the Elite 8. At first glance, you would think that the Sooners don’t have enough firepower against the Heels, but you forget that Blake Griffin will likely be guarding Tyler Hansbrough. Advantage – Griffin. In a high-scoring battle, I like the Sooners to make the trip to Detroit and try to prove to the country that they belong among the nation’s elite. This bracket will not have as many upsets but will provide excitement with high-scoring affairs and fast-paced offenses. It will also feature two of the nation’s top players in Blake Griffin and Tyler Hansbrough. Try and keep up…..
Ok folks, get out your brackets…
2009 SOUTH REGION PREDICTIONS
Sleeper teams to win at least one game: Western Kentucky and Michigan
Most intriguing team to watch: Syracuse (can they recover from a brutal Big East tournament?)
Biggest regional upset: Western Kentucky to beat Gonzaga in the 2nd round after upsetting Illinois in the Round of 64
1st Round Winners: UNC, Butler, Western Kentucky, Gonzaga, Arizona State, Syracuse, Michigan, and Oklahoma
2nd Round Winners: UNC, Oklahoma, Western Kentucky, and Syracuse
South Region Sweet 16 Winners: UNC and Oklahoma
South Region Elite 8 Winner: Oklahoma Sooners
OUT OF THE SOUTH REGION, Oklahoma WILL REPRESENT THE FIELD IN DETROIT AT THE FINAL FOUR
Analysis and breakdown of the East Region coming soon….