The last region to breakdown for the NCAA March Madness tourney is the Southwest. This region features Kansas, Notre Dame, Purdue and Louisville as the top 4 seeds. This region’s play starts tonight with a First Four play-in game between Pac-10 representative USC and Colonial league Cinderella, VCU. The winner of this game (I have USC) will take on Georgetown on Friday, which is one of the more interesting matchups in the Southwest. I also like the 8-9 matchup between UNLV and Illinois, and the possible upset special with 13-seed Morehead St. as they take on 4-seed Louisville. Here are my first round projections for the Southwest region…
1. Kansas over 16. Boston U.
8. UNLV over 9. Illinois
12. Richmond over 5. Vanderbilt
4. Louisville over 13. Morehead St.
6. Georgetown over 11. USC
3. Purdue over 14. St. Peter’s
10. Florida St. over 7. Texas A&M
2. ND over 15. Akron
In the second round, I have one of my bigger upsets going down in the bottom half of this region. I got the ACC’s Florida St. Seminoles taking down Notre Dame and Ben Hansborough. I think ND is prone to an upset, especially if they are cool from downtown. They depend on the 3-ball and I think the Seminoles’ athleticism and defense could lead them to a Sweet 16 bid. Look for UNLV to give Kansas a tough game, but otherwise I got the top seeds making it through the first weekend and into the Sweet 16.
1. Kansas over 8. UNLV
4. Louisville over 12. Richmond
3. Purdue over 6. Georgetown
10. Florida St. over 2. ND
A Louisville-Kansas matchup in the Sweet 16 would be very interesting. Rick Pitino will have his kids ready to play, but I like Kansas’ depth and strength downlow to much to have them lose to the Big East runner-up. In the other matchup, I have Purdue ending the Seminoles magical run in the tourney and moving onto the Elite 8.
1. Kansas over 4. Louisville
3. Purdue over 10. Florida St
In the regional final, I am going RockChalk JayHawk and picking KU to take down Purdue and make it to the Final Four.
1. Kansas over 3. Purdue