NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket 2010: Breaking Down the South Region
The brackets are out and you need information.
Well, you've come to the right place.
I know many of you are mad, angry, and downright livid with the bracket overall, but I have the pleasure of breaking down the region that has provided the most consternation of March Madness thus far.
How did Duke get a No. 1 seed with the easiest bracket when most considered the Blue Devils the weakest potential No. 1 available?
How did Notre Dame go from a certain NIT bid to a No. 6 seed in just two weeks?
How did Utah State make it into the tournament at all?
Hopefully at the end of this article some of your questions will be answered and you will be able to fill your bracket out with ease.
The Team to Beat: No. 3 Baylor Bears
After watching this Baylor team play the last few weeks I am confident that the Bears will be the team to beat in this region.
Baylor's combination of speed and size will be tough for anyone to matchup against.
Despite being picked to finished 10th in the Big 12, the nation's top conference in '09-10, the Bears finished tied for second, behind Kansas and Kansas State. Not bad company at all.
Baylor will face nothing in this bracket that has not faced throughout the season. They are battle tested and very talented. That's why they are the team to beat in the south.
Tale of the Tape
Overall Record: 25-7
Conference Record: 11-5
Biggest Wins: vs. Xavier, three wins over Texas. The last two by a combined 34 points.
Bad Losses: vs. Alabama, @ Colorado
First Round Upset Special: Siena over Purdue
Take it to the bank. Cash it in.
The single-easiest first round upset to pick is this one.
Purdue is simply listless without Robbie Hummel. And Siena is better than that No. 13 seed they were handed.
Ryan Rossiter, who averages a double-double each game, is Siena's big forward, and Purdue will be hard pressed find anyone to match him. But Rossiter is not even the Saints best player.
Small Forward Alex Franklin won the MAAC Player of the Year. He scored 63 points and had 31 rebounds in the MAAC Tournament last week.
Biggest Storyline: Duke's Undeserving No. 1 seed in the easiest bracket
So I thought the No. 1 overall seed was supposed to have the easiest March to April?
Apparently the NCAA Selection committee did not get the memo.
Duke got what is by far the easiest draw in this tournament.
There are only five Top 25 ranked teams in this bracket, as opposed to seven in the Midwest bracket and nine in the West bracket.
Louisville could give them some trouble in Round Two but that's only if the Cardinals get by Cal.
I like the hot hand so I'm going with Baylor to ultimately take this region.
Duke should make it to the Elite 8 with relative ease, but fiven their recent struggles in the NCAA Tournament one never knows. But you can bet the lack of competition in this bracket will be talked about from now until the Final Four.
Cindarella of the South Region: Siena Saints
This might seem a tad redundant. But I like the Saints.
With Franklin, Rossiter and a backcourt that is quite capable of taking this team a long way, Siena has the matchups in their favor.
A likely Sweet 16 matchup with Duke could prove interesting, as Duke has trouble once they get to the round of 16. Facing this Siena team in the Sweet 16 would be no picnic.
Player to Watch: Scottie Reynolds, Villanova
Very few point guards have the scoring acumen that Reynolds possesses.
The kid can flat score anytime he wants to.
Averging 18.5 ppg, Reynolds is a 48-percent shooter from the field and shoots 40-percent from the perimeter. Not bad for a point guard.
As you know, or have been told millions of times, point guard play in the tournament is one of the greatest keys to success.
If Villanova can shake off the inconsistency it played with for much of the season, Reynolds could care the 'Cats a long way in this tournament.
Best Player You've Never Heard Of: Omar Samhan, St. Mary's
Samhan has led this St. Mary's squad all season long. He's the primary reason the finally slew Goliath-Gonzaga in the conference tournament. Well, him and a team that shoots over 40-percent from three-point land.
Samhan averages 21 points and 11 rebounds per game.
The 6-foot-11, 265-pound beast eats up a lot of real estate under the basket and will be a force for Richmond to deal with in round one of the tourney.
Best Nickname: St. Mary's Gaels
I'll admit, this one took some researching.
I wasn't quite sure if the Gaels referred to a gale of wind or some weird deep-sea creature.
The answer I found was much more interesting, however.
Since it will be hard for me to translate this meaning I have decided to copy it verbatim from SMCgaels.com. Here ya go.
The Gaels are an ethno-linguistic group which spread from Ireland to Scotland and the Isle of Man.
Their language is of the Gaelic (Goidelic) family, a division of Insular Celtic languages. The word in English was adopted in 1810 from Scottish Gaelic Gaidheal (compare Irish Gaedhealg and Old Irish Goídeleg) to designate a Highlander (OED).
Gael or Goídeleg was first used as a collective term to describe people from Ireland; it is thought to have come from Welsh Gwyddel (Old Welsh Goídel), originally "raider", now "Irish person".
Many people who do not speak Gaelic consider themselves to be 'Gaels' in a broader sense because of their ancestry and heritage.
Oddest First Round Matchup: Aggies vs. Aggies
No. 5 seed Texas A&M will take on No. 12 Utah State in the first round. Oddly enough both teams nickames is the Aggies.
The game promises to be a goody, but it might get a tad confusing.
Here comes the Aggies with a 3-on-1 break--OH WOW--the Aggies with the steal, throws to the wideopen man 64-62 Aggies lead!
I can see Verne Lundquist with smoke coming out of his ears now.
My Pick to Win the Region: Baylor Bears
This one could make or break my bracket--which obviously would not be a first for me.
But I think Villanova will go down early and it will come down to Duke and Baylor in the Elite 8.
I don't have much confidence in the BlueDevils right now, and Baylor has played well over the last two weeks.
Baylor will keep the hothand and win the easiest bracket before getting pounded in the Final Four by West Virginia.