2019 Men's Basketball NCAA Tournament South Regional Overview

South Regional Overview
The South Region has something for everybody. The top half of the bracket has some amazing defenses and the bottom half of the bracket has a lot of very tough teams who could have very easily been seeded higher. That should result in a lot of good, close games.
Who Can Win?
There are a lot of ways this bracket could go. Nobody should be too surprised if any of the top seven teams ended up in the Final Four. Virginia has obviously had a superb season, but after last year’s NCAA Tournament loss in the first round, it remains to be seen if this group can make amends and reach the Final Four. They do have a decent draw though since many of the teams they are likely to face play a similar style and the Cavaliers have already beaten Wisconsin once this season.
Who Can Surprise?
As Villanova has proven over the last few years, they have what it takes to win the national title. So it may not be a huge surprise if the Wildcats win their third national championship in four years, it would be a bit of an upset since they are a six seed. Cincinnati is a group that can make a deep run too. They have the defensive intensity and a superstar scorer in Jarron Cumberland to make the Elite Eight.
Who’s Hot?
Not long ago Villanova would have been in the “Who’s Cold” list. The Wildcats lost three games straight in late February. Since then they have won five of six games against some of the toughest teams the Big East has to offer. They have not won in dominant fashion, but this a Villanova team that has been here before and will not be intimidated by anybody.
Who’s Cold?
Mississippi has had some tough stretches this season and they are in the midst of one now. The Rebels have lost four of their last five games and five of their last seven. Those two wins came in close games against Georgia and Missouri. That does not bode well for Ole Miss, but they do have some talent and will have an opportunity to turn things around against Oklahoma.
Upset Alert!
Since there is a lot of talent in this region, it would not be a surprise if any of the top 14 seeds won in the first round. Old Dominion has a great defense that can slow down a Purdue team that is often one-dimensional. UC Irvine and Kansas State will be a close game since both teams are happy slowing down the tempo. The same is true about Wisconsin and Oregon. And the last time we saw Saint Mary’s they were beating Gonzaga so it would not be that big of a surprise either if they were to beat Villanova.
What Possible Matchup is Interesting?
There are quite a few tough potential matchups in this bracket, but a rematch between Virginia and Wisconsin would be fun. Back in November the Cavaliers beat the Badgers 53-46 on a neutral floor behind 20 points from De’Andre Hunter. Wisconsin has developed into a better team since then though. Ethan Happ scored 22 points in that contest, but now the Badgers have a couple more somewhat consistent scoring threats in Brad Davison and D’Mitrik Trice.
Which Player Will Dominate?
Tennessee’s Grant Williams already won the SEC Player of the Year and he will look to add some postseason accolades to his trophy shelf. The 6-7 junior averages 19.0 points and 7.6 rebounds. That alone would make him a Player of the Year candidate, but Williams does so much more than that. He plays great defense, averaging 1.1 steals and 1.4 blocks per game and he dishes out 3.1 assists. Williams is the leader on a very, very good team and he can take his team to the Final Four and beyond.