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The Southwest Region, doesn’t provide fans with many intriguing match-ups as almost everyone, including the President himself, have Kansas coming out of this region. Actually President Obama has the Jayhawks taking it all.
So, is he right?
While I don’t have the Jayhawks winning it all in any of my brackets, they will more then likely come out on top of this region. Led by Marcus Morris, who is one-half of the Morris twins along with Markieff bring the Jayhawks into the Big Dance, with storming effort. Marcus averaged 17 points and 7 rebounds this game, and should be force in every game for the Jayhawks.
Player To Watch: #2 Preston Knowles, Guard, Louisville Cardinals
Averaging 15 points a game, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and nearly 2 steals a game, Knowles has almost every aspect of the game down. Knowles finds himself with veteran coach Rick Pitino and has veteran-ship himself, being a senior for the Louisville Cardinals. No one wants to lose early during the NCAA tourney, and certainly want to make a run during the senior season. All this put together makes Preston Knowles, one of your key player’s to watch in this year’s Big Dance.
Darkhorse “Team To Watch”: Illinois
Potential, if nothing more, that is what can make Illinois one of the surprise teams in this year’s tournament. It’s been a repetitive story for the Illini who find themselves in close games with good teams, but always seem to fall at the end. With that being said however, Illinois has knocked off North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Michigan during key-times of their season. A lot of great young talent surrounds Bruce Weber, if they can get it together, Illinois might be the team to surprise many.
Letdown “Team To Fall”: Notre Dame
Yes, Notre Dame deserved their #2 seed. Yes, Notre Dame has five seniors starting and they all will play a key-role for their team. Yes Ben Hansbrough was the Big East Player Of The Year, over UConn’s Kemba Walker. Like his brother Tyler, who plays for the Indiana Pacers, Hansbrough is a great college player, who paces himself perfectly so that he can come up big in clutch situations late in games. Notre Dame has the tools to make it, but they haven’t been to a Final Four since the ’70s. Notre Dame’s run can be ended at the Sweet Sixteen against a surprising Georgetown, or they could continue this great season. They are a great team this year, but have the potential to fall.
With all the preview fun stuff done, here are the picks, round by round, for each game in the Southwest Region of the 2011 NCAA March Madness Tournament.
With the play-in games all finished we start with Round 2
Writers note: Winners labeled in bold
#1 Kansas over #16 Boston University
#9 Illinois over #8 UNLV
*Upset Notice* Although I have #5 Vanderbilt over #12 Richmond, don’t be surprised if Richmond pulls off the upset.
#4 Louisville over #13 Morehead State
#6 Georgetown over #11 VCU
**Upset Notice** I know it sounds crazy but it could happen I have #3 Purdue over #14 St Peter’s, but St. Peter’s may just pull this off.
#10 Florida State over #7 Texas A&M
#2 Notre Dame over #15 Akron
Round Three Winners:
#1 Kansas over #9 Illinois
#4 Louisville over #5 Vanderbilt
#6 Georgetown over #3 Purdue
#2 Notre Dame over #1o Florida State
Sweet Sixteen Winners:
#1 Kansas over #4 Louisville
#6 Georgetown over #2 Notre Dame
With a trip to the Final Four on the line, and overlooked Georgetown making it to the Elite Eight, here is my winner, advancing to the Final Four:
#1 Kansas over #6 Georgetown
The favorite pick in this region, comes out on top. The Morris brothers will rise and veteran coach Bill Self will once again lead his team to the Final Four, while I don’t have them winning it all, there is once again, no doubting the Jayhawks.