March Madness 2011 Predictions: Inside Scoop on All Southwest Region Teams
March Madness 2011 predictions are here, and we're breaking down the Southwest Region from all different angles.
We'll be talking about the best player in the bracket, the best teams, the ones that are getting too much praise and the ones that need to be on watch for a possible upset. We'll even have some fun with the uniforms and some other things so enjoy as we get you ready for the tournament.
As always, if you have any thoughts, be sure to let it be known in the comments.
Best Player: Marcus Morris, Kansas
Marcus Morris is the Big 12 Player of the Year and one half of Kansas' front-court duo.
Morris is a beast on the low block, and he's a trend-setter for the Jayhawks and a guy who can simply take over games and dominate this tournament. He was a breakout star for Kansas this year and is poised to take over the NCAA tournament.
Watch big No. 22 when Kansas comes on your TV screen because he's going to jump out at you from the opening tip.
Best Team: Kansas Jayhawks
It isn't a particularly strong field in the Southwest Region, but standing tall in this bracket are the Kansas Jayhawks.
The Jayhawks are clearly one of the best teams, if not the best team in the nation. Even though Kansas doesn't have top guard play, it does have some great big men and with that front-court play, it's clear that this is the team to beat.
If Kansas doesn't make it to the Final Four, it will be a huge shock to a lot of people out there.
Best Coach: Rick Pitino, Louisville
Rick Pitino is a guy who knows what it takes to succeed in the NCAA tournament.
Pitino has had great success as a coach at Kentucky and now Louisville and has been to multiple Final Fours and National Championship games. He has helped guide the Cardinals to the four-seed in the Southwest Region and is in a position to make it to the Elite Eight.
The only thing standing in the way of the Cardinals and that slot in the Elite Eight is a likely matchup with Kansas in the Sweet 16 and that should be a dandy of a basketball game.
Coolest Uniform: Saint Peter's
Now, Saint Peter's may not be a traditional school, but I love their uniforms.
The dark blue with the white numbers and the light blue trim is something that just pleases the eye when you watch it move on the court. If you're one of those fans who doesn't know much about college basketball, but likes to find ways to root for teams, these uniforms would certainly be a good reason.
I can't wait to see these out on the court this week.
Ugliest Uniform: Morehead State
Morehead State is a feel-good story in the NCAA tournament, but I cannot co-sign those uniforms.
Quite frankly, these uniforms look like they belong to a high school team somewhere rather than an actual college team. I like the color scheme, but they don't look like they belong to a team that is playing in the NCAA tournament.
The lettering on the front just pushes it over the top.
Should Win: Kansas
The Kansas Jayhawks are the top seed in the Southwest Region and are one of the best teams in the country.
With a strong front court, the Jayhawks can really set the tempo and grind teams down through the course of a game. On top of it, it's a weak field in this bracket, so it's only natural that people would expect a team as strong as Kansas to win the region.
If the Jayhawks don't win the Southwest, I'd be stunned.
Will Win: Kansas
As I said in the previous slide, the Kansas Jayhawks are one of the best teams in the country.
In fact, I think Kansas is the best team in the nation, and with the bracket not being the strongest region in the tournament, it leaves the door wide open for the Jayhawks to get to the Final Four and compete for a national championship.
This is Kansas' region to lose.
Upset Special: USC over Georgetown
While USC is no lock to face Georgetown, I see the Trojans beating VCU and getting into the big bracket.
Once there, the Trojans will face a Georgetown team that hasn't been playing its best basketball coming into the tournament. USC has all the potential in the world to be a Cinderella in this tournament and make a big splash, starting with the Hoyas.
If Georgetown loses, there's going to be some heat on that coaching staff, and I wouldn't want to be that bunch heading into the tournament.
Vanderbilt is a team coming into the NCAA tournament looking for a spark to send it on a run deep into the bracket.
Sadly for the Commodores, that spark isn't going to come. This is a team that's limping into the tournament and hasn't had a truly great win in a long, long time. If I'm Vanderbilt, I'm on upset alert thanks to a red-hot Richmond team.
The Spiders are a team that has a great chance to pull an upset and be a Cinderella in the tournament.
Louisville is coming into the big dance as the four-seed in the Southwest Region after the their performance in the Big East Tournament.
The Cardinals had a strong showing and are playing good basketball at the right time and could be a serious threat to Kansas in this bracket. Louisville is well-coached, and this program has been to the Final Four and is a program that knows what it takes to get it done in March.
It would not shock me if Rick Pitino and company find a way to make a deep run into this tournament.
Best First-Round Matchup: Vanderbilt Vs. Richmond
This is one of the matchups in the region with the highest upset potential, and it's certainly going to be a dandy.
Richmond is coming into the tournament on a major roll, and Vanderbilt is a program that is struggling big time. The Spiders won the Atlantic-10 tournament, and they are a team I would not be looking forward to seeing any time soon.
It's a game that looks like it's going to go down to the wire, so stay glued to your television if you're watching this one.
First of the Top Four to Exit: Purdue
If there's one thing we've learned this year, it's that Big Ten basketball can be ugly.
Purdue is coming into the tournament as a three-seed, and I don't have a lot of faith in the Boilermakers. This is a team that might get past the first couple of rounds, but there's no way that Purdue can beat Notre Dame in the Sweet 16.
The Boilermakers have some big wins, but I don't see this team making a deep run in this field.
Player We'd Love to Hang out with Most: Marcus and Markieef Morris
Look, I know I broke the rules, but please forgive me.
I chose the Morris brothers because when you have a sibling, there's always a bond there and a connection that only you and that person have. When you're twins, it's totally different and I'd love to see that dynamic in person.
With the way they work on the basketball court, I'm sure it would be a fun experience.