South Region bracket breakdown

SOUTH REGION

Team to beat

Florida enters on a 26-game winning streak and is the top seed overall. Although analysts say it's a difficult bracket, most expect the Gators to make it to the Final Four. In many ways, the South Region could be called the "what might have been" portion of the bracket. The region includes No. 3 Syracuse and No. 2 Kansas, and were it not for a late-season collapse for the Orange and an injury to Jayhawks star Joel Embiid, both might have been No. 1 seeds. But Florida, with its veteran presence and experienced coach, looks like a team that could make a strong title run.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

G Michael Frazier, Florida. PG Scottie Wilbekin, the SEC player of the year, is the glue that holds the Gators together, but it is Frazier who is the dagger to opponents' hearts. He has six games this season with at least five 3-pointers, and when he's hitting, Florida's tough to beat.

PG Tyler Ennis, Syracuse. Ennis averages 12.7 points, but more importantly, he's a fearless player who's not afraid to take the big-game shot. Even though he has struggled a few games of late, at tourney time he's the type of player you want running your offense.

G Andrew Wiggins, Kansas. With Joel Embiid out, Wiggins has stepped up to carry the load for the Jayhawks. He scored 93 in the past three games heading into the tournament, and he continues to rebound and assist, making him an all-around threat.

Upset special

Who isn't always on the lookout for the 5-12 upset? No. 12-seeded Stephen F. Austin enters the tournament on a 28-game winning streak, maybe the longest streak nobody's talking about. Yes, it plays in the Southland Conference, but it has experience combined with a balanced offense that forces opponents to play its style of game. It is ninth nationally with 16.5 assists per game and fifth in defensive turnover percentage. VCU shouldn't take the Lumberjacks lightly.

Forgotten ones

If you listened to most of the post-Selection Show analysts, you didn't hear much about No. 6 seed Ohio State. The Buckeyes fell way short of preseason expectations in the highly competitive Big Ten but still have the chance to upset some brackets. Senior PG Aaron Craft is still one of the best in the nation. There is no pressure on the Buckeyes since expectations are so low. Who knows? They could catch someone off guard.

Antonya English, Times staff writer

Florida enters on a 26-game winning streak and is the top seed overall. Although analysts say it's a difficult bracket, most expect the Gators to make it to the Final Four. In many ways, the South Region could be called the "what might have been" portion of the bracket. The region includes No. 3 Syracuse and No. 2 Kansas, and were it not for a late-season collapse for the Orange and an injury to Jayhawks star C Joel Embiid, both might have been No. 1 seeds. But Florida, with its veteran presence and experienced coach, looks like a team that could make a strong title run.

Upset special

Who isn't always on the lookout for the 5-12 upset? No. 12-seeded Stephen F. Austin enters the tournament on a 28-game winning streak, maybe the longest streak nobody's talking about. Yes, it plays in the Southland Conference, but it has experience combined with a balanced offense that forces opponents to play its style of game. It is ninth nationally with 16.5 assists per game and fifth in defensive turnover percentage. VCU shouldn't take the Lumberjacks lightly.

Forgotten ones

If you listened to most of the post-selection show analysts, you didn't hear much about No. 6 seed Ohio State. The Buckeyes fell way short of preseason expectations in the highly competitive Big Ten but still have a chance to upset some brackets. Senior PG Aaron Craft is still one of the best in the nation. There is no pressure on the Buckeyes since expectations are so low. Who knows? They could catch someone off guard.

Antonya English, Times staff writer

G Michael Frazier, Florida. PG Scottie Wilbekin is the glue, but Frazier is the dagger. The sophomore from Tampa has six games this season with at least five 3-pointers, and when he's hitting, UF's tough to beat.



PG Tyler Ennis, Syracuse. He's a fearless player not afraid to take the big shot. Though the freshman has struggled a few games of late, at tourney time he's the type of player you want running your offense.



G Andrew Wiggins, Kansas. With C Joel Embiid out, Wiggins has stepped up. The freshman scored 93 in the past three games heading into the tournament, and he continues to rebound and assist, making him an all-around threat.

South Region bracket breakdown 03/16/14 [Last modified: Sunday, March 16, 2014 11:34pm]

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