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March Madness Betting: 2013 South Region Predictions & Picks

SOUTH REGION PREDICTIONS – 2013 NCAA Tournament Free Picks & Sleepers

The Kansas Jayhawks are the top seed in the South Region of this year’s NCAA Tournament Bracket. Kansas finished at the top of the Big 12 in the regular season, and they went on to win the Big 12 Tournament title as well. Most experts believe the South Region is one of the easiest in this year’s bracket.

Let’s take a closer look at how this region may shake out.

South Bracket- The Elite

#1 Seed- Kansas Jayhawks

Odds to win South Region from 5Dimes: +330

The Kansas Jayhawks are the top seed in the bracket, but they aren’t the oddsmakers favorite to win the South Region. Bill Self’s team made it all the way to the final game last year before falling to a terrific Kentucky Wildcats team. They don’t have Thomas Robinson anymore, but Jeff Withey is as good of a defensive big man as there is in all of college basketball. This whole Kansas team excels on the defensive end. Ben McClemore has been amazing in his freshman year, and he can take over on the offensive end. Kansas struggled on the road this year, but they were great on neutral floors.

#3 Seed- Florida Gators
Odds to win South Region from 5Dimes: +165

Billy Donovan’s teams have been as successful in March as any team in the country in the last few years. Even though they are a number three seed, the oddsmakers have installed them as a pretty heavy favorite to get out of this region. At times this year the Gators have looked like the best team in the country, but they have also slipped up in some confusing losses (at Arkansas, against Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament final). The Gators are one of the top defenses in the nation. No doubt this team has the talent to get to the Final Four, but do they have the consistency needed to win that many games in a row?

The Contenders

#2 Seed- Georgetown Hoyas
Odds to win South Region from 5Dimes: +550

The Georgetown Hoyas could be called the Rodney Dangerfield team of college basketball this year. It seems like the Hoyas just don’t get that much respect from the oddsmakers. Otto Porter is one of the top five players in the country, and if you haven’t seen him play you should make a point to see his skills. Porter is one of those guys who does it all for his team. Markel Starks’ emergence as a quality point guard has made this team tough to handle. The fact that this team did so well in the difficult Big East speaks to their ability to play against top competition. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

#4 Seed- Michigan Wolverines
Odds to win South Region from 5Dimes: +600

Michigan was ranked in the top five quite a bit this year, but they slumped a bit at the end of the year. Trey Burke is one of the top contenders for Player of the Year. Burke is an amazing athlete and a great guard, but Michigan is a better team when everyone is involved. If Burke tries to do too much, it takes pressure off the defense. Michigan needs production from Tim Hardaway Jr., Nick Stauskas, Mitch McGary, and others. The Wolverines had trouble finishing close games at the end of the year, and that’s definitely a major concern.

The Sleepers

#5 Seed- VCU Rams
Odds to win South Region from 5Dimes: +2,000

Shaka Smart’s team creates “Havoc” with their full court pressure, and there aren’t many teams that are well-equipped for that style of play. Smart is one of the best coaches in the nation right now, and he knows how to get his team ready for NCAA Tournament action. They have a couple very winnable games against Akron and probably Michigan in the first couple rounds. If VCU is knocking down shots from the perimeter, they could be a real sleeper in this region.

#8 Seed- North Carolina Tar Heels
Odds to win South Region from 5Dimes: +1,900

Isn’t it interesting how the selection committee lined up a potential Kansas vs. North Carolina matchup in the Round of 32? Roy Williams against his old team would be a good game for television, and it could also be a lot more hotly contested than most believe. The Tar Heels have improved a lot down the stretch, and they can play with anyone now. Paige is maturing a lot at the point guard spot, and that allows this team to run the floor and get great transition opportunities.

The Pick

I’ll take the Georgetown Hoyas here. Georgetown has been underestimated all year, and at +550 I see a lot of value on them to win this region. There is no dominant team in this region, so I think you have to go with a value play here. I like the Hoyas ability to lock down their opponent with some tremendous half court defense.

South Region Free Pick: Georgetown +550

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