NCAA Tournament South Regional preview: Can Arizona tame the Tide?

The South Region of the NCAA males’s event is full of intrigue.

It accommodates the highest total No. 1 seed in Alabama and all of the drama that has adopted the Crimson Tide. It has one other extremely proficient crew in 2-seed Arizona, the Pac-12 champions who’re loaded with expertise down low.

It additionally has an intriguing 5-seed in San Diego State and a darling Cinderella that you’re going to need to study all about.

And then after all there may be Baylor, a 3-seed that has had a season of ups and downs, but in addition a crew that received all of it simply two seasons in the past.

Here’s a information to the sector within the South.

View the total bracket right here.

Of the highest 4 seeds, which of them have the perfect path?

Alabama and Arizona: Alabama is taking part in its finest basketball of the season after operating by means of the SEC to the event title. So is Arizona after successful the Pac-12. I may positively see a 1-2 matchup within the Elite Eight in Louisville.

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Alabama ought to be capable of get by the winner of Maryland-West Virginia. Neither crew has the best matchup for Brandon Miller. San Diego State and Virginia aren’t as geared up to cope with them both.

Arizona is properly constructed with its cell bigs and a matchup downside corresponding to Miller in Azuolas Tubelis. Both of those guys are legit first-team all-American candidates. Arizona ought to get to the Elite Eight by dispatching Missouri after which Creighton in a rematch from the Maui Invitational.

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Which crew within the Nos. 5-9 vary might be a darkish horse?

San Diego State has the perfect path to a possible Sweet 16 matchup with Alabama due to its vaunted protection. The Aztecs received the common season and a event title within the Mountain West, a league that challenged them in each outing. Could the Aztecs knock off Alabama? Sure. They have the protection to take action. The concern will likely be whether or not they can rating with the Tide.

Does this area have Cinderella?

Charleston is the apparent alternative as a result of the Cougars received 31 video games. The matchup with San Diego State is unquestionably winnable. But dealing with Virginia after which probably Alabama can be a tall activity.

Best first-round matchup?

Maryland-West Virginia. This is the perfect 8-9 sport within the area. Both groups can play extraordinarily arduous. They will push one another, and the purpose guard play of Jahmir Young and Joe Toussaint goes to be the most effective within the first spherical. Expect this sport to be a slugfest with how the sport known as seemingly being a vital issue.

Upset alert?

Baylor is the selection right here with its matchup with UC Santa Barbara. Joe Pasternack’s crew has received the Big West a couple of occasions now, and he has a seasoned group that’s primed for a potential upset in a 3-14 matchup. Baylor has been inconsistent this season.¬†

Regional remaining

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 22 Arizona 

My decide: Arizona

The Wildcats had the crew to make a Final Four run final season earlier than they had been shocked by Houston within the Sweet 16. Arizona has the bigs and the wings to beat Alabama. I say the Wildcats get it performed. 

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Andy Katz is a longtime faculty basketball author, analyst and host. He may be seen on the Big Ten Network, in addition to March Madness and NCAA.com, and he hosts the podcast “March Madness 365.” Katz labored at ESPN for almost 20 years and, previous to that, in newspapers for 9 years.

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