NCAA Tournament: First Round Predictions in the South Region

Ian ZymarakisSenior Analyst IMarch 17, 2008

In my continuation of predicting every first round game from each region I have now reached the South Region.

We know Memphis will advance, but will there be any upsets from this region in the first round?


(1) Memphis vs (16) UT Arlington

Memphis wins this one easily.

I think Memphis is one of the more underrated teams in this tournament, even for a No. 1 seed. They are extremely physical and can run the floor and shoot the ball well. Their downfall is their free-throw shooting.

I see Memphis going far in the tournament even if they have to face a team like Pitt in the Sweet 16.


(8) Miss. St. vs. (9) Oregon

I think Oregon will win this one.

Many people say Oregon got too high of a seed and shouldn't have gotten in the tourney over Arizona St., but, nonetheless, I see them winning this game and proving to the naysayers that they deserved to be in this tournament.


(5) Michigan St. vs (12) Temple

Michigan St. wins this one as the Spartans prove to be too much for the A10 tourney champs, the Temple Owls.

Tom Izzo has always been a very good tournament coach and Michigan St. is a team that could be a darkhorse in this tournament and end up going pretty deep.


(4) Pitt vs. (13) Oral Roberts

I see Pitt taking this one, although Oral Roberts could be a scary team because they can play some ball.

Pitt is coming in on an extreme high after winning the Big East tourney, but they shouldn't look ahead to a possible matchup with Michigan St., or that could cost them.

Fields and company prove to be too much for ORU as Pitt advances to the second round and a meeting with Michigan St.


(6) Marquette vs. (11) Kentucky

I haven't heard too many analysts discuss this game. I have Kentucky pulling the upset in this one.

Since that 41 point loss to Vandy and that early exit in the SEC tourney to Georgia, Kentucky has played some good basketball, even with a season injury to their Freshman stud Patterson.

I see Gillespie and his great defensive mind shutting down Marquette in a Wildcats upset.


(3) Stanford vs. (14) Cornell

In a battle of two teams with great average SAT scores, I see Stanford pulling away early and winning big time.

The Lopez twins are too much for Cornell's smaller lineup and this will show early. I also believe that a lack of a conference tournament in the Ivy League will hurt Cornell more then it will help.

Stanford wins big here and moves on to the second round comfortably.


(7) Miami Fl. vs. (10) St. Mary's (CA)

In what I see being a coin-flip type of pick from this region I went with St. Mary's (CA) getting the win over Miami Fl.

This is the first time Miami Fl. has been in the tournament for quite some time, but I still think St. Mary's aggressive style of play will surprise this team from the ACC.

St. Mary's wins a tight one, but really this game could go either way. That's why I have it as my coin-flip game of this region.


(2) Texas vs. (15) Austin Peay

Texas wins this one as Augustine and Abrams are too much for Austin Peay.

Austin Peay is a pretty good No. 15 seed though and can be pesky too Texas in this game.

Texas is one of those teams that can go extremely far in this tournament and even challenge for the championship if their guard play can stay consistent throughout.

Texas pulls away in the second half and wins by more then 10.


Winners Review:

(1) Memphis

(9) Oregon

(5) Michigan St.

(4) Pitt

(11) Kentucky

(3) Stanford

(10) St. Mary's (CA)

(2) Texas


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