We’ve now come to the final region for the NCAA Tournament. The South Region. The top 4 seeds in this region are: 1. North Carolina 2. Oklahoma 3. Syracuse 4. Gonzaga. Quite simply, if Ty Lawson is healthy then you can give this region to North Carolina. But if he isn’t, then this region is completely up for grabs. You can’t even count out 7th seeded Clemson or 11th seed Temple.
I do think that all the top 4 seeds will advance past the first round. But I don’t expect 6th seed Arizona State to make it out of the first round. Nor do I expect 2nd seed Oklahoma to make it out of the 2nd round. I like Clemson to upset them. So making it to the Sweet 16 from this region will be North Carolina, Gonzaga, Syracuse, and Clemson. (If Oklahoma makes it to the Sweet 16 then this bracket will have the best match-ups in the round of 16.)
Coming out of these games I like Syracuse to take on North Carolina. If Ty Lawson is healthy then UNC wins and flies into the Final Four. I fully expect Lawson to be ready to go by the second weekend of the tournament. But there is always the possibility that UNC might get knocked off without Lawson in the 2nd round. And Lawson has just about been ruled out for the first round game already.
Could Butler or LSU take out UNC? Well, anything is possible. But I don’t see UNC losing. They still have Hansbrough. And I don’t see an answer for him on any team UNC has to play in the first 2 rounds. Now, if Lawson isn’t playing against Gonzaga or Syracuse then all bets are off. Syracuse in particular could give UNC and their lack of defense lots of fits. Jonny Flynn could really cause UNC a lot of headaches too.
But I’m going with UNC to advance into the Final Four. And tomorrow I’ll take a look at how I see the Final Four panning out. And tomorrow the madness will really take off.