The Southwest Region Slightly De-Mystified

03.17.11 8 years ago 5 Comments

We’re gonna finish breaking down each region of the NCAA tournament. Now: the Southwest.

The Gist.

Kansas won the whole effin’ show in 2008 after beating UNC and Memphis in the Alamodome. Now the Jayhawks will headline a wide-open Southwest region with 10 solid at-large teams, including Louisville and Notre Dame from the Big East.

Roll Call.

Senior leadership matters, people. Greg Anthony said so, and he’s a cool dude.

Here are the number of seniors starting for each Southwest region team:

1. Kansas – 2
2. Notre Dame – 5
3. Purdue – 3 2
4. Louisville – 1
5. Vanderbilt – none
6. Georgetown – 3
7. Texas A&M – 2
8. UNLV – 2
9. Illinois – 4
10. Florida State – 1
11. VCU – 4
12. Richmond – 3
13. Morehead State – 3
14. St. Peter’s – 3
15. Akron – 2
16. Boston U. – 2

Potential First-Round Upsets and Non-Upsets.

(11) VCU over (6) Georgetown. Yes, Virginia Commonwealth is not going to waste any time destroying your bracket this weekend. VCU might have looked shaky over Southern Cal, but the NCAA let in three teams from the Colonial league for a reason. Georgetown’s only chance is on the boards, as the Rams are one of the worst rebounding teams in Divison I.

(10) Florida State over (7) Texas A&M. Great defensive team over good rebounding team that lost its best player in the middle of the season. Florida State’s 8 road wins were best in the ACC this season.

(12) Richmond over (5) Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt barely went 9-7 in the SEC and they were only .500 on the road. If sophomore John Jenkins goes cold, the Commodores are toast.

Same As It Ever Was. Picks that shouldn’t surprise anybody.

(2) Notre Dame over (15) Akron. Remember when the MAC used to be pretty good at basketball? They got one team in this year, and that was their tourney champion. Notre Dame can make some noise here; if they can dodge Purdue in the second weekend, the Irish could find themselves in their first Elite Eight since 1979.

(3) Purdue over (14) Saint Peter’s. I wanted to do a “Purdue’s plane crashes and the whole team goes to heaven” joke, but time did not permit. I think the punchline at the end would have been something like, “And that’s why Coach K never gives the dog a bath anymore.” Man, that would have been a great joke.

Played Out. My picks for the rest of the bracket.

Sweet Sixteen: Kansas, Louisville, Purdue, Notre Dame

Elite Eight: Kansas, Notre Dame.

Final Four: Notre Dame.

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