Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
At first glance the South Regional looks like a huge trap for Kentucky.Defending national champion Connecticut looms in the round of 32 and there’s a potential Sweet 16 matchup with Indiana, the only team the Wildcats lost to in the regular season.
All while No. 2 seed Duke sits on the other end of Kentucky’s bracket.
Regardless, being the No. 1 overall seed means most experts still see Kentucky heading to New Orleans.
The favourite: Kentucky
The Wildcats have been plenty tested this year with wins over Louisville, North Carolina, and Kansas. They, for the most part, rolled through their SEC schedule. Kentucky’s only loss before the SEC tournament came on a last second miracle shot on the road in Indiana. Yes, potential matchups against UConn and/or Indiana may be fun games to watch, but Kentucky should prevail with superstar Anthony Davis leading the way.
Sleeper pick: Indiana
It’s going to be awfully hard to get through Kentucky, no matter who it is. If there’s anyone in the South Regional you might want to take a limb on, though, Indiana is it. The Hoosiers already beat Kentucky once this season, feature a star-in-the-making in Cody Zeller, and have a prolific offence (top 20 in points per game, top 10 in field goal percentage).
1st round upset special: No. 11 Colorado over No. 6 UNLV
After starting off hot at the beginning of the season, UNLV cooled off toward the end with a 6-5 record to close out the year. They struggled mightily shooting the ball and were heavily out rebounded in their Mountain West Conference semifinal loss to New Mexico.
Colorado’s roster lacks size, but so does UNLV’s. The Buffs are riding off the high of winning the Pac-12 tournament after getting snubbed last year. An 11 always beats a 6 at some point in the tournament.
Player to pay attention to: Anthony Davis
There are a few relatively unknown guys who could get some national attention in the South Region: Cody Zeller of Indiana, Wichita State’s Garrett Stutz, or even Carlon Brown of Colorado. But the truth is Anthony Davis’ all-around game will be on display for a national audience to gawk at over the next two weeks. His combination of length, post moves, mid-range shooting, and blocking ability are a rare combo that could have Kentucky head coach John Calipari cutting down the nets in New Orleans in a few weeks.
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