The University of Kentucky may have drawn the tournament's No. 1 overall seed, but the South Region bracket is not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination.
The following is a list of the top contenders out of this region to make it to the Final Four...and no, it is not just the top few seeds in order.
Led by the best player in the country, Anthony Davis, the Wildcats once again bring a very young but talented squad with plenty of weapons to make it to the Final Four.
Davis is a huge defensive obstacle for any opposing offense; if he doesn't completely block a shot, he very often will cause a shooter to alter his shot into a miss. He is also a decent threat on offense, showing more of an ability of late to create his own shots.
Combined with Terrence Jones and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the Wildcats have plenty of size, scoring and defense under the basket. At guard, Doron Lamb shoots the three as well as anyone in the country and can drive the lane as well. Marquis Teague has matured into an excellent game manager who can also be an explosive scorer at times.
If the 'Cats have a weakness (besides their inexperience), it's their bench. Darius Miller, the team's only senior, provides a decent lift, but Kyle Wiltjer (a true freshmen) has yet to show consistent production when he gets time on the floor. Eloy Vargas has become even more of a non factor than he was at the beginning of conference play, which seems almost impossible.
The Wildcats' loss to Indiana this year showed how disastrous things can get if Anthony Davis gets into foul trouble.
Their loss to Vanderbilt last weekend simply showed that the young team was beatable, especially if they are fatigued and the shots aren't falling.
If the 'Cats can keep their starting five on the floor for most of the game, shoot from outside like they normally do and Teague handles the presses and traps that he is sure to get, then national title No. 8 is a very real possibility...but still not a foregone conclusion.
Before you laugh, keep in mind that Butler made the Final Four last year as a No. 8 seed...and UConn is much more talented. They may not match Kentucky completely as far as future NBA prospects go, but they're close.
Opposing point guards will have their hands hands full with Shabazz Napier, who had an excellent Big East tournament. Combined with Jeremy Lamb's inside/outside scoring ability, the Huskies will get plenty of scoring from the guard positions.
Andre Drummond continues to get better every week; he is currently at a point offensively and defensively where he could go up against any other center in college basketball, including Anthony Davis. Drummond leads a frontcourt for UConn that plays very physically, but still manages to stay out of foul trouble.
If there is a knock on UConn, (besides their youth) it's the fact that their defense appears to noticeably slacken as the game wears on. Napier and Boatright also tend to not do as good a job distributing the ball to the talented pieces around them as they should.
Still, this UConn team has plenty of talent to make the Final Four. If the Huskies show more resolve on defense and a willingness to make better shot selections on offense, they can beat anyone.
While the knock often heard about Duke is a lack of individual scoring talent, Austin Rivers seems to be forgotten in that discussion. Rivers is a great shooter, can drive the lane as good as anyone in college basketball and, if he gets hot, is nearly impossible to stop.
The Blue Devils are also very efficient on offense, a trademark of Krzyzewski teams. Combine that with the fact that Duke is older and has a much deeper bench than the other top teams in their bracket (even if Ryan Kelly can't go due to his foot injury), and it looks like the Blue Devils may make a run for the title after all.
Despite the loss of Verdell Jones, Indiana still has a decent shot at making it out of the South bracket. A Tom Crean coached team with an inside scoring threat like Cody Zeller can beat anyone in this bracket if the Hoosiers are firing on all cylinders.
A lot of the experts are picking Indiana to lose in the first or second round, but I just don't see that happening. Crean knows what a big deal it is for the Hoosiers to be back in the Big Dance. Despite the fact that Indiana will be a bit shorthanded, they will be prepared. Expect the Hoosiers to at least get out of the first weekend alive.
With Perry Jones on the floor, all things are possible (especially considering the type of Big East tournament he just had).
Despite an unenviable first-round matchup against South Dakota State, a look at the Bears' schedule shows that they take care of business when it comes to teams that they should beat (which is definitely not something you can say about the rest of the South Region bracket).
Baylor is an incredibly quick and athletic team. If they end up meeting Duke in the Sweet 16, don't be surprised to see them win and make a run for the Final Four.
For your printable bracket for the 2012 NCAA tournament, click here.
If you want to sing my praises, tell me that I am the worst writer you've ever read, or just want to observe my weird and offbeat view of things, follow me on Twitter @NickNafster79