The Southeast region. This one's interesting.

Matthew Haysover 10 years

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Aritcle written by:Matthew HaysMatthew Hays

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Let's be honest. The Southeast is hands down the crappiest region of all four in the tournament. Here's a fun fact: Chad Ford currently has John Leuer of Wisconsin as the number four rated pro prospect in the region. Leuer checks in at a significantly lower 57 on his big board. This region features the worst number one seed, the worst number two seed, the worst number three seed, the worst number four seed and nine teams that have a shot at winning four games and making it to the Final Four. This could be the region that screws up a number of brackets if selections are made purely based on seeding. Let's take a deeper look at the first round match ups.

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#1 Pittsburgh - #16 UNC-Asheville/Arkansas-Little Rock

At the writing of this post, UNC-Asheville and Arkansas-Little Rock are going into overtime. That's irrelevant though. Pittsburgh finished as the Big East regular season champions and all five of their losses came to teams within the top 50, which can't be said for many other high seeds in the tournament.They have been consistent all year and played well during the Big East regular season. However, I think this team is far and away the worst one seed in the field this year and their selection as a one seed was a surprise considering recent struggles and 0-1 record in the Big East tournament. That being said, they'll demolish whichever hyphenated opponent they're presented. Winner: Pitt

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#8 Butler - #9 Old Dominion

The darling of last year's tournament against a team that no one knows anything about. Old Dominion seems to be the team that the talking heads are raving about because they play an aggressive style and rebound very well. I feel like every year, the guys on ESPN take a team that the public doesn't know much about and spend the week before the tournament over hyping them. Last year, Doug Gottlieb had every team in the tournament from the Atlantic 10 going to the Final Four, or something close to that. I don't buy it. Butler has been there before and they'll have the two best players on the floor in Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack. Winner: Butler

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#5 Kansas St. - #12 Utah St.

Kansas St. struggled early but has played well of late against teams not named Colorado and have the potential to emerge from this region as its Final Four representative. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they play USU, a team billed by many as one with Cinderella potential, in the first round. A positive for Kansas St. is that they'll have the best player on the court in Jacob Pullen. If he plays like he played in their upset of Kansas, there aren't many teams that will be able to play with KSU. Utah St. is a mystery though because, other than a loss at Idaho, they beat the teams they were supposed to beat and only lost to BYU and Georgetown early in the year and spent the latter part of the season in the top 25. That being said, Frank Martin is ridiculously frightening. Winner: Kansas St.

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#4 Wisconsin - #13 Belmont

As far as I'm concerned, Wisconsin is the most boring team in the country after the crap show they put on against Penn State. Belmont is a team that likes to get out and run. They shoot a lot of three pointers and they shoot them well, but Wisconsin is a terrible match up for them. If the Badgers are able to dictate pace and play their game then they should luck out and win this game. However, I'm disgusted by the last game that they played and I want to see them out of the tournament as fast as possible. Let's hope that Belmont gets hot from beyond the arc. Winner: Belmont

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#6 St. John's - # 11 Gonzaga

St. John's lost one of their best players, D.J. Kennedy, to an ACL tear and without him they are probably a stretch as a six seed. Gonzaga didn't live up to preseason expectations but played well in the WCC tournament final against St. Mary's. The Bulldogs have found a reliable bench contributor in David Stockton, son of John Stockton, and they rebound and shoot free throws well as a team. The Red Storm will still have the best player on the court though in Dwight Hardy and that probably stems their exit to the second (technically third) round. Winner: St. John's

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#3 BYU - #14 Wofford

The Wofford Terriers almost beat Wisconsin in the first round last year but face a tougher challenge in BYU. Jimmer is the best player in the entire region and, even without Brandon Davies, He isn't going to go home without winning a few games. Wofford did beat Georgia early in the year, though, so they're a team that could potentially spring an upset bid, but probably not against Jimmer. Winner: BYU

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#7 UCLA - #10 Michigan St.

You have to think in a region this weak, Tom Izzo could stage another one of his crazy postseason runs even with a team that has grossly underachieved all year. UCLA is an enigmatic team that has wins over BYU and Arziona, but also has a loss to Montana and a recent beat down by Oregon in the Pac-10 tournament. The Bruins have eight players who average 12 minutes or more per game and an aggressive presence on the boards. However, as perplexing as Michigan St. has been, it's hard to pick against them in March. Winner: Michigan St.

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#2 Florida - #15 UC Santa Barbara

Florida should not be a two seed. They get to play a team whose mascot is a gaucho in the first round. Chandler Parsons will probably get some rebounds and points and try to keep up the charade that he's a good three point shooter. The sad thing is, as undeserving of this seed as Florida is, they have a relatively easy path to the Final Four. Winner: Florida

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Southeast Region Quick Hitters:

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Players to watch: Jimmer Fredette is the best player in the region but my player to watch is Jacob Pullen. Pullen has had to carry the Wildcats all season and if they live up to their preseason potential and somehow orchestrate a Final Four run, then he's going to be the guy to key it. He's a natural born scorer and when he gets on a tear, he's a lot of fun to watch.

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Biggest potential Honor Code violation: It would be funny to see BYU have to play in New Orleans. If they gave the players free time to explore the city, how many of them would be eligible to play come game time?

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Best match up to see: The potential match up between Florida and BYU in the Sweet Sixteen would be a lot of fun to watch not only because BYU knocked Florida out of the tournament last year in a double overtime thriller, but also because it's the kind of pairing that could finish with a very high score. If Boynton and Walker are hitting their threes, it'd be fun to watch a shoot out with Jimmer.

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Worst match up to see: I know it has its supporters and it was lauded for its efficiency in an upset of Ohio State, but Wisconsin has the most boring offense I've ever seen. Even when they were blowing out Northwestern, it still seemed slow. I wouldn't want to watch Wisconsin play anyone.

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Cinderella team: They have been in the top 25 for the entire second half of the season but, at a 12 seed, Utah State is still the most likely candidate for a Cinderella run. The Aggies are a mystery because they haven't beat (or really played) anyone good, but they could still come out and surprise some people. Tai Wesley is a star and teams with a proven go-to guy can make some serious noise in the tournament. On an unrelated note, their super fan, Wild Bill, is a must see.

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Final Four team: None of the teams in this region really convince me that they're capable of winning four straight games in the tournament, but I'm going to pick the Florida Gators to advance. They are grossly overrated as a two seed but they lucked into a phenomenally weak region. They'll get revenge against BYU for the first round loss they were dealt last season and beat Pittsburgh because they can stretch the floor with better athletes and match the Panthers on the perimeter. So, with UK, the SEC will have two Final Four teams. Not too shabby.

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