The Southeast Region features a ton of teams who are certainly good, but who disapointed recently in their Conference Tourney's...it also features public fav's Gonzaga and Butler...7 Conference Champs here...let's take a look...
#1 seed - Pittsburgh Panthers...27-5...Big East...6-4 vs ranked opponents...Pitt plays in the Big East where only men need apply...this squad has very good Senior leadership with guys like G Brad Wanamaker, F Gilbert Brown, and F Gary McGhee...Junior F Nasir Robinson plus Junior G Ashton Gibbs give the Panthers a lot of balanced scoring (Gibbs likely the best Offensive weapon on the squad)...Sophomore F Dante Taylor provides a spark for this club off the bench...4 of their 5 losses came on road/neutral site games...Pitt has had a very strong season...their 5 losses were by a combined 18 points, and their last 3 losses by a combined 6 points...Head Coach Jamie Dixon does a great job of having his team prepared every night...excellent rebounding squad...very good defensive squad...Pitt is great at passing the basketball too...Pitt has a Top 10 RPI ranking...current NBA players from Pitt include Sam Young, DeJuan Blair, and Aaron Gray
#2 seed - Florida Gators...26-7...SEC...4-3 vs ranked opponents...Head Coach Billy Donovan's Gators laid an egg in the SEC Title game vs Kentucky, yet come away with a #2 seed...good for them...that will likely allow them a nice path to the Sweet 16, but I do not expect a whole lot from this team in this Tourney...Florida only goes about 5-6 deep IMO...This team is led by Senior F's Chandler Parsons, Vernon Macklin, and Alex Tyus...The Guards - Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton are good (but perhaps a tad undersized)...The season was very up and down for FLA...they opened the season as a Top 10 ranked team, then bumbled all the way out of the Top 25, then climbed the charts the last part of the season all the way to a NCAA Tourney #2 seed...FLA was 12-4 in road/neutral site games this season...current NBA players that were once Gators include Joakim Noah, Matt Bonner, Corey Brewer, Mike Miller, David Lee, Udonis Haslem, and Al Horford
#3 seed BYU Cougars...30-4...Mountain West Conference...3-1 vs ranked opponents...Head Coach Dave Rose's team has had extremes at good and bad...The bad of course was Sophomore F Brandon Davies was dismissed from the team for the remainder of the season for a violation of the school's honor code (engaging in pre-marital sex...BYU players sign a Honor Code contract and that is on there)...The Cougars lost their leading rebounder in the process...also lost double-digit scoring...of course at BYU the scoring is held down by one man...Jimmer Fredette was born to score the basketball...no one at the College level does it any better (52 a few days ago in a Mountain West Tourney game)...The loss of Davies means more will be needed from Senior G Jackson Emery, and Junior F's Charles Abouo and Noah Hartsock...Freshman G Kyle Collinsworth has been called on to contribute more lately too...The loss of Davies will be felt IMO, but this BYU team can surely score the basketball...3 of BYU's 4 losses this season came on road/neutral site games...NBA alumni from BYU include Danny Ainge and Rafael Araujo
#4 seed...Wisconsin Badgers...23-8...Big Ten...4-3 vs ranked opponents...Bo Ryan has a pretty damn good team...Wisc is one of the rare NCAA teams that offer a terrific scoring Guard, and terrific inside scorer...Junior G Jordan Taylor plus Senior F Jon Leuer (damn good) lead the squad...Senior F Keaton Nankivil provides leadership and a 3rd scorer...all 8 of Wisconsin's L's this season came on road/neutral site games...Kudos to this team as they were un-ranked for much of the season, so to finish so strong as to earn a #4 seed is impressive...This could be a hungry team too as their last 2 games were complete swings and misses...2 straight brutal efforts so Ryan's team likely looking to perform significantly better...Michael Finley and Devin Harris are former Badgers
Other teams worth a look...
#8 seed - Butler Bulldogs...23-9...Horizon...0-1 vs ranked opponents...Last years Cinderella Bulldogs are baaaack...2010 runner-up...a dozen 20+ win seasons in last 14 years...a team that plays some great old-school team first b-ball that they call "The Butler Way"...4th year Head Coach Brad Stevens is the next hot up-and-coming coach...another deep run in this Tourney would solidify Stevens on the list of elite NCAA coaches...Butler enters the Tourney on fire, similar to last season where they went all the way to the Finals and had a 3-ball from Gordan Hayward in the air to win the NCAA Title (it missed...Duke wins!)...7 of Butler's 9 losses this season came on road/neutral site games...Senior F Matt Howard and Junior G Shelvin Mack provide the leadership and scoring for this team with help from Sophomore C Andrew Smith and Senior G Shawn Vanzant...Stevens will play several different combinations, even start different combos, but the 4 players mentioned above are the keys for any Butler W
#11 seed - Gonzaga Bulldogs...24-9...WCC...1-4 vs ranked opponents...Amazing that the Zags are in the Tourney for the 13th straight season...They losy Matt Bouldin (damn good) to graduation, but guys like Steven Gray (Senior), Robert Sacre (Junior - Can-Con as Sacre is from North Vancouver, BC...actually 7-footer Kelly Olynyk is also from our amazing country - Kamloops, BC), and Elias Harris (Sophomore) are keeping this Gonzaga team deep and talented...Very good defensive squad...The last 10 times Few's Zags have battled a Top 25 team they have won just once
!!! #5 vs #12 ALERT !!! ...20 of the last 22 years a #12 has defeated a #5 in the opening round...actually #5's only beat #12's about 68% of the time so please do look for a 12-5 upset...in the Southeast we have a great #5 seed in Kansas State, but the #12 seed is Utah State...The Aggies from Utah State won their Conference, and they play as good a team D as there is in the Tourney...30-3 record for the Aggies
#14 seed Wofford could give #3 BYU a better game than expected in the opening round...
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