Men's NCAA Tournament South Region 2nd Round Game Breakdowns

Men's NCAA Tournament South Region 2nd Round Game Breakdowns


#1 Kansas vs. #16  Western Kentucky (Kansas City, Missouri)

Western Kentucky had a pretty good run through the Sun Belt conference tournament.  For the second year in a row, they find themselves in the tourney pool.  Their story should end here though.  Not only has a 16 seed never beaten a No. 1, but this particular No. 16 is not considered too much of a threat.  They were .500 in the Sun Belt and had to really catch fire at the end to make it in.  They are going against an athletic, experienced Kansas team with one of the best coaches in the game.  Ben McLemore is a freshman stud for the Jayhawks.  Nobody on Western Kentucky will be able to mark him consistently.  Not to mention the size Jeff Withey under the basket.  Between Travis Releford, Elijah Johnson, Kevin Young, Perry Ellis and the rest of the bench, Kansas is just too deep for Western Kentucky to contend with. 


#8 North Carolina vs. #9 Villanova (Kansas City, Missouri)

Villanova was a bubble team coming into the weekend.  Luckily, their 20 wins within the structure of the Big East was enough to propel them into the dance.  The Wildcats have some skilled big men in JayVaughn Pinkston and Mouphtaou Yarou, but they are not elite producers in the post.  Freshman Ryan Arcidiacono has been great for them from the perimeter.  Unfortunately, his shooting is not enough to match the firepower of North Carolina.  Roy Williams went with a smaller lineup after the Tar Heels got crushed by Miami.  Since then they have only lost three games.  P.J. Hairston has come off the bench to score 17 points per game.  He is shooting an unbelievable rate from three.  With more guards on the floor, they constantly look for the outside shot.  James Michael McAdoo is a beast of an athlete.  He can take over when they need him to.  North Carolina should be too much of a mismatch for Villanova.


#5 VCU vs. #12 Akron (Auburn Hills, Michigan)

VCU seems like a NCAA tournament team-to-watch every year.  Shaka Smart has done an incredible job with that program.  The 2013 version is a defense-oriented squad with strong guard play and Juvonte Reddic on the block.  VCU leads the country in steals.  Their ability to turn the ball over is a huge reason why the Rams are going to go far in this tournament.  It leads to more points for Shaka’s club.  They face a good team in Akron who is not bad at scoring themselves.  They are tough on the boards with Zeke Marshall and Demetrius Treadwell averaging over seven per game.  The Zips can monitor the lane.  They block a lot of shots.  Ultimately, it is going to come down to VCU’s ability to defend Akron that is going to be the difference in the game.  VCU’s guards are more fundamentally sound players overall than Akron’s.  Akron already turns the ball over too much as it is (over 13 per game).  That number will not improve against the Rams.


#4 Michigan vs. #13 South Dakota State (Auburn Hills, Michigan)

This matchup is special because of the guards on the floor.  Trey Burke, Michigan’s sophomore sensation, is one of the best guards in the country and may be the national player of the year.  South Dakota State has a star of their own in point guard Nate Wolters.  Wolters is fourth in the nation in scoring.  He shoots nearly 50 percent from the field, and he hits 88 percent of his free-throws.  Wolters is the total package.  Burke is a total package himself.  He leads his team in all major statistical categories other than three-point shooting.  It is going to be quite the individual battle.  It creates the most intriguing first round matchup.  As teams, Michigan is the deeper, more skilled team.  Tim Hardaway, Jr. is the second leading scorer.  He’s a huge complement to Burke.  Nik Stauskas is a sharpshooter from beyond the arc.  If freshman prized recruit Mitch McGary steps his game up, Michigan could be too much for the Jackrabbits.  Don’t count out South Dakota State though.  They beat a real good New Mexico team on the road this year.  They can give Michigan a run for their money. 


#6 UCLA vs. #11 Minnesota (Austin, Texas)

UCLA is missing their second leading scorer, Jordan Adams, to a foot injury.  Right off the bat they are hindered by losing a scoring threat.  They are going to have to replace his 13 points per game somehow.  It hurt them pretty bad against Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game.  UCLA does boast Shabazz Muhammad though.  The No. 1 recruit in the country last year, he has lived up to his billing at 18 points per game.  He leads a fairly young team, albeit with talent.  They face a Minnesota team that went through a grind in the Big Ten.  The Gophers are limping into the tournament after three straight losses.  They present a problem for UCLA with the Hollins brothers in the backcourt, who lead the team in scoring.  They have Trevor Mbekwe under the basket who holds his own against players like Cody Zeller.  Minnesota plays a methodical brand of basketball that could wear UCLA down.  Minnesota would be strong pick to beat UCLA.  This game could go either way.


#3 Florida vs. #14 Northwestern State (Austin, Texas)

Florida comes in as the far and away best team out of the SEC.  They are an experienced team with really talented inside-out players.  Erik Murphy leads the team in scoring from the forward position, while Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario control the backcourt.  Patric Young is a great complement to Murphy down on the other block.  This is one of the more talented teams in the country.  Billy Donovan’s squad just could not put it together for the duration of the season.  They face the No. 1 scoring team in the nation in Northwestern State.  They have really good shooters from all over the court.  DeQuan Hicks is shooting 58 percent from the field.  He is one of three Demons shooting over 50 percent.  They find the best shot that they can and they hit them.  Overall, Florida is the better team.  They probably will not have an issue with Northwestern State.  Problems will arise if Florida has trouble shooting.  The Demons can pull away and make it very difficult for Florida to catch them. 


#7 San Diego State vs. #10 Oklahoma (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

San Diego State stumbled into the tournament after a really strong start to the season.  All of their early wins against teams like UCLA and New Mexico help bolster their case for an at-large bid.  Jamaal Franklin is a star for the Aztecs.  He scores 16.7 points per game while shooting 40 percent from the field.  The Aztecs are a really solid defensive team.  They limit three-point shooters to just 32 percent from behind the arc.  They are also disciplined.  They do not put other teams on the line when they do not need to extend the game.  They play an Oklahoma team who has been up-and-down all year but really have been a pleasant surprise in the Big 12.  They do not wow anyone statistically, but they have beaten Kansas and Oklahoma State amongst other strong teams this year.  This is a game that could really go either way.  Romero Osby for Oklahoma will probably be the best player on the floor, but that may not be enough for Oklahoma to take out San Diego State.  The Aztecs defense will be tough to crack.


#2 Georgetown vs. #15 Florida Gulf Coast (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Georgetown comes in as a favorite to go far in the NCAA tournament this year.  Despite losing to Syracuse in the Big East tournament, the Hoyas are a hot team with a roster full of scorers.  Nate Lubick is a smart big man on the block who is one of the better passers from under the basket.  Markel Starks has really come into his own at the guard position.  When he gets in foul trouble, the team gets into trouble in the backcourt.  Of course, Otto Porter, Jr. is playing out-of-this-world basketball.  He was the conference player of the year.  It is going to be difficult for Florida Gulf Coast to matchup with Porter and his Hoya teammates.  Georgetown would ideally run the Eagles out of the gym.  But the Hoyas should not take them lightly.  Florida Gulf Coast beat Miami early in the year.  They have a good defense that can generate turnovers.  Georgetown should not have a problem, but historically low seeds tend to trip the Hoyas up.  Ohio beat them in round two in 2010.


South Regional Overview


Midwest Regional Overview

Midwest Region Game Breakdowns


East Regional Overview

East Region Game Breakdowns


West Regional Overview

West Region Game Breakdowns


NCAA Tournament Central