Bracket Breakdown: The Southeast

By on March 17, 2011

By: Dave Jarvis (RSE Hockey/Basketball Contributor)

Southeast Region Preview

This is probably the weakest region in the tournament this year. If you compare the top 4 seeds in this region to the teams occupying the same slot in the other brackets, the Southeast teams all rate lower on the power index.

This could also be the bracket that may have the most upsets early and often this year. I would not be the least bit shocked if you see Gonzaga vs. Old Dominion in the elite 8 to go to Houston for the Final Four. 

Which team could keep #1 seed Pittsburgh from reaching the Final Four?

Florida and Gonzaga are the two teams most likely to prevent the Panthers from reaching the Final Four. 

Is there a Cinderella in the Southeast Region (team with a seed lower than top 4 to reach Final Four)?

The Gonzaga Bulldogs and Old Dominion are two teams that could – if things break correctly – find themselves in Houston playing in the Final Four. ODU has a good chance to upset Pittsburgh in the 3rd round as their size and ability to shoot the ball could give Pittsburgh a lot of trouble. I could also make an argument that the size of the Gonzaga front line can give every team in the Southeast Region a very tough time. 

Who will play in the elite 8 – with the winner going to Final Four in Houston? 

Pittsburgh will beat Gonzaga and punch their ticket to Houston from the Southeast Region.

Most exciting player in the region:  BYU player-of-the-year candidate Jimmer Fredette

Is there a team seeded 12 or lower that is likely to devastate a higher seed? 

#12 Utah State and #13 Belmont could be teams to blow up a bracket early (if you are seeking to impress your friends with college basketball clairvoyance). 

The Picks (Round 2):

#1-Pittsburgh over #16-UNC Asheville                                                                                                                   

#9-ODU over #8-Butler    

#5-Kansas State over #12-Utah State

#4-Wisconsin over #13-Belmont

#11-Gonzaga over #6-St. John’s  

#3-BYU over #14-Wofford

#7-UCLA over #10-Michigan State

#2-Florida over #15-UCSB

 The Picks (Round 3):

#1-Pittsburgh over #9-ODU

#5-Kansas State over #4-Wisconsin

#11-Gonzaga over #3-BYU

#2-Florida over #7-UCLA                                                                                                                                                              

 The Picks (sweet sixteen):

#1-Pittsburgh over #5-Kansas State

#11-Gonzaga over #2-Florida (Yeah, I wrote that!)

To Final Four: #1-Pittsburgh over #11-Gonzaga

 Stay on your toes bracketeers!

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