Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament South Round of 64 Game Breakdowns

South Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns


#1 Duke vs. #16 North Florida / Robert Morris (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Duke is familiar with being on the 1 line.  It’s almost like a rite of passage for the Blue Devils.  They are young, athletic, and skilled.  They have a bevy of talented guards and most importantly, they have Jahlil Okafor.  Okafor is going to be a problem for either North Florida or Robert Morris.  North Florida has a lot more size than Robert Morris so they would have a better matchup.  The Ospreys also have four guys that can score at any given time.  But Okafor can dominate down on the block against just about anybody.  Plus, he can kick out to guards on the perimeter at any given time and Duke can sink either of these teams with three-point shooting.  North Florida is the better matchup, but Duke is going to dominate either one of them.


#8 San Diego State vs. #9 St. John's (Charlotte, North Carolina)

This is a compelling matchup against two athletic teams.  The question is going to be how much not having Chris Obekpa will effect St. John’s.  It should be a significant loss.  He is an elite force in the defensive paint.  Similarly, San Diego State as a team is an elite defensive squad.  They hold teams to just 53 points per game.  However, they have a difficult time scoring.  They are going to have to make shots if they want that tough defense to carry them through the tournament.  Sir’Dominic Pointer and D’Angelo Harrison are very good scorers for St. John’s.  Steve Fisher’s team will certainly be tested against a tough non-conference opponent.


#5 Utah vs. #12 Stephen F. Austin (Portland, Oregon)

This is a popular upset pick for the South Region.  Stephen F. Austin is such an efficient offensive team that they will be able to catch any Power 5 team off guard.  They are top 10 nationally in scoring, field goal percentage, and assists.  They are intelligent on the offensive end and protect the ball.  They will not waste any time or possessions.  Utah plays very good defense, which is just what it takes to beat the Lumberjacks.  Plus, Delon Wright plays for the Utes and he is one of the best players in the Pac-12, leading the team in points and assists. 


#4 Georgetown vs. # 13 Eastern Washington (Portland, Oregon)

Georgetown is in an interesting position as a top-4 seed.  Since they reached the Final Four in 2007, they have not been able to get out of the round of 32 as a high seed.  They constantly disappoint when it comes to the NCAA tournament.  Eastern Washington is a good team that can travel well.  They beat Indiana on the road this season.  They score 80 points per game.  Georgetown is not as adept at scoring as EWU so it is going to come down to which team gets hot and makes mid-range shots and shots from behind the arc.  The Eagles are certainly primed to be another team to upset the Hoyas early in the tournament, but Georgetown is well-balanced and well-tested.  They will not be easy to beat even if they have fallen short in recent years.


#6 SMU vs. # 11 UCLA (Louisville, Kentucky)

UCLA has been on the bubble for quite some time, but they have played a tough schedule and did enough to earn their bid into the NCAA tournament.  SMU has had a resurgence as a program under Larry Brown and won both the regular season and tournament titles for the American Athletic Conference.  The Mustangs are a better shooting team than UCLA, but the Bruins have size that can help control the paint against speedy SMU.  This is one of the most difficult games to predict.  SMU has played well this season, but has had some trouble against non-conference opponents.  UCLA has had some poor stretches through this season.  SMU is playing better right now.  This should be a fun one to watch.


#3 Iowa State vs. #14 UAB (Louisville, Kentucky)

Iowa State is generally a bad matchup for most teams.  UAB is no different.  They are not a very good shooting team, and teams that have had success against Iowa State have shot well over the course of an entire game.  To their credit, the Blazers are a good rebounding team.  That will come in handy against the strong frontcourt of Iowa State.  The question will be if UAB can compete over 40 minutes with Georges Niang, Jameel McKay, and Abdel Nader on the glass.  Iowa State can go into scoring lapses often, but they are too strong of a team to lose in the opening round.


#7 Iowa vs. #10 Davidson (Seattle, Washington)

This game could go either way.  Iowa is such an unknown commodity because they have played really well at times this season and really poorly at times.  They beat North Carolina on the road, but then lost to Northwestern at home.  Davidson is definitely a team primed to take out Iowa, especially on a neutral court.  Tyler Kalinoski has taken over multiple games this year.  He has only been held under 10 points twice all season.  Once Iowa gets out of rhythm offensively, they have a difficult time recovering and Davidson can take advantage of that.  The Hawkeyes have a lot of experience and a great coach in Fran McCaffery, which could carry them through the Davidson game. 


#2 Gonzaga vs. #15 North Dakota State (Seattle, Washington)

North Dakota State was steady in the Summit League this season, ultimately winning the conference championship game by one point over rival South Dakota State.  They have a very good scorer in Lawrence Alexander who plays almost the entire game.  Gonzaga just happens to be the much better team.  The Zags are too well-balanced and experienced for North Dakota State to slip them up.  Anything is possible, but at the rate Gonzaga plays they tend to overwhelm teams early.  Look for Przemek Karnowski to have his way inside and for Kevin Pangos to set the tone for his tournament play early with a big win.


South Regional Overview


Midwest Regional Overview

Midwest Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns


East Regional Overview

East Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns


West Regional Overview

West Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns


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