2011 NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16 Preview

WOW!

You got to love the upsets of the opening weekend of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.  Richmond?  Florida State?  And best of all, VCU (by the way, I am STILL apologizing to VCU)?

This is how I see all four regions shaking out in the Sweet 16…

East Region

Teams remaining:

  • Ohio State
  • UNC
  • Kentucky
  • Marquette

ANAL-ysis: This is still the mother of all regions.  I still see Ohio State taking this region, though I think Kentucky will give them the biggest challenge.  Put it this way, whoever wins the O. State-Kentucky game will win the region.

West Region

Teams remaining:

  • Duke
  • San Diego State
  • UConn
  • Arizona

ANAL-ysis: I still am holding onto my Duke pick to appear in the Final Four, but Arizona scares me.  Arizona is very athletic, and its length will give Duke fits.  I don’t think ‘Zona will be able to check Duke stud guard Kyrie Irving.  I think UConn will run out of gas against San Diego State.  Look for San Diego State to use the home court advantage to push Duke to the limit in the Elite Eight.

Southwest Region

Teams remaning:

  • Kansas
  • Florida State
  • VCU
  • Richmond

ANAL-ysis: We should re-name this region “The Upset Region” because all but Kansas are double-digit seeds!  A buddy of mine told me he converted his bracket into a paper airplane largely because of this region.  While Kansas should help me look good for picking them to be in the title game, I don’t know what to expect from this region.  People will be clamoring for the “all-Richmond” match-up in Richmond-VCU, but I think Kansas and Florida State will battle it out for the right to go to the Final Four.

Southeast Region

Teams remaining:

  • Florida
  • BYU
  • Wisconsin
  • Butler

ANAL-ysis: This is the region no one is talking about.  Maybe because there is not a lot of star-power in this region.  Maybe because there is no clear-cut power in this region.  That’s too bad because this is the most wide-open region in the tournament.  An overrated top-seed in Pitt lost to Butler (my Final Four pick) in the last round, while Florida, BYU and Wisconsin eased their way into the Sweet 16.  I am still holding onto Butler winning this region, but BYU is the only team that could ruin that twisted fantasy.

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