Virginia is the favorite to win the South Region. Virginia, who won both the ACC Basketball Tournament as well as the ACC Regular Season, is the overall #1 ranked team in the NCAA Tournament. Can anyone bump Virginia from a trip to the Final Four?
2018 March Madness South Region Picks
March Madness South Region Favorite: #1 Virginia
The Cavaliers have the very best defense in all of college basketball. Opponents average less than 54 points per game versus the Virginia Cavaliers. The Cavaliers deserve the #1 seed. But, the Selection Committee has sort of hung Virginia out to dry.
The Cavaliers must face either Arizona or Kentucky in the Sweet 16. Neither team is a walk in the park. Even Creighton or Kansas State in Round 2 won’t be easy to get past. Arizona, Kentucky, Creighton, and Kansas State are on Virginia’s side of the bracket. If they get past those teams, they’re likely to face the second best defensive team in the nation after them, the Cincinnati Bearcats.
March Madness South Region Smart Pick: #4 Arizona
The Arizona Wildcats have a surging team. Arizona has gotten better in late February and March. They dominated opponents in the Pac 12 Basketball Tournament. Sure, UCLA did enough to force overtime. In overtime, Arizona outscored the Bruins 11 to 0.
You must stop DeAndre Ayton to have any shot of beating the Arizona Wildcats. No team has anyone who can stop Ayton. Most teams can’t even contain him. If you stop Ayton, you must then deal with Dusan Rustic, Allonzo Trier, and Rawle Alkins.
March Madness South Region Longshot Pick: #11 Loyola-Chicago
11-seed Loyola-Chicago should have no shot to win the South Region, right? Here me out. First, Loyola-Chicago battles the Miami Hurricanes. How much respect have the oddsmakers given to Loyola-Chicago? Miami is favored by 2.5 points over the Ramblers.
Loyola-Chicago also shoots 50.3% from the field. That ranks third in college basketball. They shoot close to 40% from three. The Ramblers allow 62.2 points per game. That ranks fifth in college hoops.
Don’t sleep on the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers.