2014 South Region Forum

I’ve had a number of members ask me to open up the forums. Sorry for the delay…still mired in bracket model Hell. But without further ado, I give you the forums.

Here’s my fast take on the South. Hard to say whether this or the Midwest is the region of death. A lot of tough teams here. I don’t see anyone getting in Florida’s way to the Elite Eight. UCLA stands the best chance. On the other side of the bracket, I think Kansas has a clear path, unless Syracuse can magically transform to its mid-season self.

A warning to Buckeye fans: a couple of my models like Dayton to pull a shocker.

This entry was posted in Bracket Forums. Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to 2014 South Region Forum

  1. Jared says:

    Does anyone know a good amount about UNM?? I only watched their last two tourney games and they looked solid.

    • Bullets-and-Blazers!! says:

      Good question Jared and I like them to go to the sweet sixteen over Kansas. They faced Kansas earlier this season and lost 80-63. This has primarily to do with the presence of Embiid. He scored 18 points and got to the free throw line. Kirk fould out from having to guard him, but no one in the roster of Kansas could guard Bairstow (spent too much time on the free throw line). Wiggin didn’t score much. Now with a Embiid-less roster, they will put Tarik Black (who fouls a lot) and Kirk can do some damage (Steve Alford isn’t their coach anymore).

      • Jared says:

        Do they then beat Cuse? I just flat out don’t like cuse, but I also think it is crazy for nm to be in the elite 8.

        • Blazers! says:

          That’s an even tougher question Jared. I know very little about Western Michigan (they have the offensive firepower to pull the upset but has very awful assists and turn the ball over WAY too many times. I do, though, know a lot about Syracuse:

          – They rotate six men only (those two bench player, Keita and Gbinije, do not provide offense AT ALL). Their starters are Cooney (whose numbers has gotten down), Ennis (a freshman guard whose doing well), Grant (who puts double-double), Christmas (who only plays defense and leads in blocks; he fouls a lot) and C.J. Fair (their main man).

          From that roster only four players provide offense. And they play zone defense, further keeping the game as low scoring. If they run up to a team that can score on every position, they will lose for sure. 6 seed Ohio State cannot do that (assuming they beat 11 Dayton. But the game I saw against Toledo, Western Michigan can score! But like I said, I know very little about W. Michigan to pencil them to beat Syracuse and please do not go wth my word about New Mexico over Kansas (though it looks like they can, they are putting up stats unlike last season, and they lost STeve Alford whom left to coach for UCLA and they lost Snell to the draft. Somehow, NM always do well every other year. 2010 they atleast beat one team; 2011 they didn’t make it; 2012 they beat Long Beach State and took Louirsville to the wire; 2013 they lost to Harvard and their stats weren’t impressive at all; what will it be for this year?

  2. John says:

    They are solid but outside of Williams are not very athletic, I think KU wins even w/o Embid

    I like Stanford as a little upset over UNM though – never trust the MWC

    • Bullets-and-Blazers!! says:

      True, but Stanford’s stats are awful, they are one of those filler teams to fill up the bracket. Even with Embiid, they struggle against New Mexico. Without him, who’s going to secure the rim?

  3. Mark says:

    All I hear is Kansas won’t get to Sweet 16 w/o Embid? What’s the deal with him… New Mexico got bounced early last year correct? Insulted with a #7 correct? Does New Mexico go to the Sweet 16?

  4. marktearle says:

    I have two main problem picks for my entire bracket, and they are both in this region. assuming my other picks fall correctly…

    1) VCU and UCLA – who’s going to the s16 – I see the winner of this game losing to Florida anyways

    2) Kansas and ‘Cuse – who’s going to the e8 – and does the winner of this beat Florida to go to f4? kansas maybe, cuse prolly not…

    • Bullets-and-Blazers!! says:

      You need to look at the teams schedule. Florida already defeated Kansas at the regular season.

      • Tom says:

        Yes, but that game was at Florida.

        Don’t discount the importance of homecourt advantage.

        • Blazers! says:

          I don’t, but I wouldn’t bank on Kansas over Florida. Outside of Wiggins, Ellis, and Embiid, who else is consistent on that squad? And Self is not Calipari, he doesn’t improve over the season (they failed to the Big 12 with the absence of EMbiid and they back to unable of securing the interior defense). Also, Self, like Pitino and Coach K, has a reputation of losing to mid-majors. And speaking of homecourt advantage, Kansas beat NM at home by 17 (and still they struggled to guard Bairstow).

  5. Mark Barr says:

    My 2 cents…
    1. UCLA is very efficient offensively which plays against VCU strength of turning you over and playing an athletic/frenzy paced game in transition. UCLA will slow them down and get good shots. VCU is terrible offensively and won’t keep up. This is a diceptively good draw for UCLA in terms of matchup/style of play vs. VCU. UCLA just needs to get by Tulsa.

    2. If Kansas gets by New Mexico… they will seeing Florida in the Elite 8. That game is question of preference: Do you take the experience and chemistry of Florida (who lacks NBA talent) or the riduculous talent of Kansas (3 NBA lottery picks). Considering Embid would be healthy in that game and Kansas would probably be playing good ball I would take Kansas of Florida in that matchup…

    • paul says:

      Mark your question “do you take experience or talent”. if you’re looking to pick a champion you go with talent.
      if you’re not looking for a champion, then i don’t have a strong opinion

  6. Nathan says:

    Doesn’t look like any model shows SF Austin winning even though they like like one of the strongest 12 seeds, right? Is is more because VCU doesn’t look like an upset possibility?

  7. Andy says:

    Have to go with Florida here. I really am not that high on the Gators overall, but Billy Donovan is a really good coach and consistent overachiever. I looked at VCU but can’t come up with a way they beat them.

    Those picks were easy. Not so on the other side. Kansas is in real trouble, and even more so without Embiid. I know they beat NM earlier this year, but they haven’t played or beaten Stanford, who looks clearly like the best of the 10 seeds. I also am decidedly not on the Syracuse or Ohio State trains. Syracuse due to their badly sputtering momentum and Ohio State due to a terrible offense. (Although Boeheim is a consistent underachiever when his SOS is below 50 also, like this year.) I don’t look too closely at 14 and 15 seeds to go deep which leaves Dayton. They are the weakest 11 by the numbers, but they might be like Xavier from a couple years ago….weak overall but playing terrible opposition. But still, no team with a Pythag below .8000 has ever made the Elite Eight. VCU in 2011 was barely above, much like Stanford this year.

    Finally, I like Tulsa as a giant killer since I am not trusting Steve Alford, and maybe the toughest 8-9 game is in this region. Pitt once again has all the numbers to win and on top of it is playing a grossly weak 8 in Colorado. But Jamie Dixon has never won as a lower seed, and frequently gets upset. Plus, Colorado was a weak Cinderella a couple years ago but still beat a team with similar issues. Therefore I lean towards the Buffs on this one.

    • John says:

      so you’re going Stanford in the elite 8? I can see it, but still think Kansas a weak 2 makes it’s way to the elite 8 (much like Ohio State last year)

      • Andy says:

        I understand the Kansas picks with their talent, but they are too up and down and Bill Self is just like that in the tournament overall. I keep asking, how come they can get to the Finals one year and then a couple years later drop to being upset by a team like Northern Iowa? That’s how I view this part of the bracket….with another shaky team waiting in the Sweet 16. Yes, I do have Stanford in my Elite Eight. I know it’s a crazy pick, but coaching and numbers from everyone else and Stanford’s overall numbers have sold me, even though they didn’t go to last year’s tournament and have a rookie coach to the dance.

  8. Jon says:

    Although I probably wont pick it…does Eastern KY have the numbers for a 15 seed winner (7-29)? I am unsure about the seed-based match-up stat of one third to two thirds of guard scoring on the spreadsheet? I am unsure of the category “Guard %”. Maybe that is my real question. What exactly are rows BR through BU on the spreadsheet?

  9. Jon says:

    Is that not backwards? BU is called “Guard %” and BS is called “5PT%. Lastly, when you compute guard % are you only looking at the top five scorers and not the whole team?

    Pete, thanks in advance. I’m amazed at how you do all this. I always look forward to getting on here every March!

  10. Marc says:

    So what is the thought on the OSU-Dayton matchup? According to the analytics this is a live game and the key stats are in Dayton’s favor. I like the rebounding and efficiency numbers.

    Anyone else taking Dayton in this one? Why or why not?

    • Ryan Tressler says:

      I thought about it for a while, but in the end, I’ve taken Ohio State . . . the numbers are definitely pointing to an upset there though

    • larry k says:

      yup mark, i’m actually taking Dayton to make the sweet sixteen… ohio state is like jekly and hyde to me… sure they could bake me, but i’m willing to put up with the risk because the upside is so good… because Syracuse is in such a bad funk, i can easily see Dayton winning there if they can get by OSU… hell, i think OSU or just about anyone in that bracket can beat the Orange .. i just couldnt bring myself to take W.Mich because i know nothing about them, and their pythag is terrrible…

      when push comes to shove, you have to find your upsets somewhere… 5-12 and 6-11 seem to be the places to go

    • Dave says:

      I gave Dayton losing to Kansas in the Sweet 16. How do people feel in the Florida UCLA game? If I were to pick a team for Florida to lose to in this region it would be UCLA… I can;t get myself to do it though.

      • Marc says:

        Florida really is the clear favorite in this bracket. I’m confident when I put the Gators in the F4. What makes this bracket difficult is what Syracuse will show up? If it’s the Cuse of mid season then they could sneak into the F4.

  11. Marc says:

    With Emblid looking to be out, how confident are you in KU? I think Syracuse snaps out of their funk and gets to the sweet 16. I’m worried that KU is a bit too thin at this point.

    What say you?

    • larry k says:

      actually, i’m not very confident about Kansas either, which makes this bracket especially difficult for me…
      if you forced me to come up with someone other than FLA, my default i would have to go back to Kansas, but its really the lesser of all evils……..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>