The South Region may not be the strongest looking region on paper but there are pretty of solid storylines brewing with the road to Indianapolis (not In Da Annapolis). The region does have plenty of nostalgia though with previous dragon slayers Davidson, North Dakota State, UAB, Gonzaga, and Stephen F. Austin and some squads hoping not to be on the wrong side of history again in Duke, Iowa State, and Georgetown.
Favorite: Duke Blue Devils
Duke wasn't able to make it to the ACC finals after Notre dame upset the Blue Devils and Greensboro but Coach K's squad are still the runaway favorite in the South Region. Hopefully, for Blue Devils' fan, the young core of Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor learned plenty about tournament play last week to help motivate them in the NCAAs.
The Blue Devils potential second round match up with St. John's or San Diego State looks like it might be the toughest. Beyond that though it looks like a cake walk for Duke. Remember the Red Storm gave Duke a solid game in Madison Square Garden a little over a month ago. The rest of this region might just tear up each other so much that Duke may not be challenged until they arrive in Indy.
Dark Horse: Davidson Wildcats
No one believed in Bob McKillop's squad at the beginning of the season and all they did was go 24-7 and win the Atlantic 10 regular season title. The first draw for the Wildcats is tough going against Iowa's cornfed giants, but if they get past the Hawkeyes then they are certainly poised for their first deep run in the tournament since Stephen Curry graced the court.
Davidson can bomb it from deep with Tyler Kalinoski, Jack Gibbs, Brian Sullivan, and Jordan Barham and the bottom of the South bracket better hope McKillop's boys aren't firing on all cylinders come gametime.
Best First Round Upset: Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
I hate to go the cliche 12-5 route with the upset but Stephen F. Austin is in position to make some noise again this year with a first round match up with Utah. You may remember the Lumberjacks knocking off VCU last year and all they've done this year is go 29-4 while only losing once since November 24.
Brad Underwood's team is battle tested and experienced with the likes of Thomas Walkup (15.7 ppg) and Jacob Parker (14.1 ppg), and they may be one of the deeper teams in the country with an almost 11 man rotation going in Nacogdoches.
Player to Watch: Tyler Harvey, Eastern Washington Eagles
Of course our friends at Casual Hoya got that queasy feeling in their stomachs when they saw they drew Eastern Washington in Portland. Not only is it another solid mid-major to scare Georgetown but it's Eagles (remember Dunk City) and a match up against the nation's leading scorer Tyler Harvey.
Harvey finished the year averaging 22.9 points per game and started the Big Sky Tournament by dropping 42 on Idaho. This is going to be one of the most fun players to watch on Thursday or Friday and Hoya fans should be shaking in their boots.