We preview this week's 2010 NCAA tournament by first taking a look at each of the regional brackets. Working our way from east to west, next up is the South.
Here is the South Bracket:
(1) Duke vs. (16) Ark-PB/Winthrop
(8) California vs. (9) Louisville
(5) Texas A&M vs. (12) Utah State
(4) Purdue vs. (13) Siena
(6) Notre Dame vs. (11) Old Dominion
(3) Baylor vs. (14) Sam Houston State
(7) Richmond vs. (10) Saint Mary's
(2) Villanova vs. (15) Robert Morris
Best First-Round Matchup
Brian: A Robbie Hummel-less Purdue vs. 13 seeded Siena runs a close second to the best South Regional matchup in the first round, the Richmond Spiders vs. the St. Mary's Gaels in the 7 vs. 10 matchup. The WCC champs have great size and can punish the Spiders on the board. Meanwhile, Richmond has great perimeter shooting and can beat you with the deep ball. This one is as close to a 50-50 toss up as you can get. While I'm not thrilled that the committee decided to pair mid-majors together in the 7 vs. 10, this should be one of the best first round matchups in this bracket.
Jeff: This is the other region that has an 8-9 game with teams used to playing as higher seeds than they are this year. Many people will take an interest in this game and I think especially if Louisville wins you will hear people talking about the potential second round upset of Duke. I don't personally agree with that being a strong possibility but it should be a good first round game.
Matchup We'd Most Like To See
Jeff: The matchups don't get real good here until the sweet 16 or elite 8. I'm looking forward to watching Duke play Villanova as I always look forward to Big East and ACC heavyweights playing each other. Some people have the Big East filling their entire Final Four this season but I think the Blue Devils will take care of their region but in a tight game.
Brian: I want to see #1 Duke face #3 Baylor in the Regional final. Baylor has quickly become the trendy pick to come out of this region. Keep an eye on Baylor's Ekpe Udoh, a 6'10" forward transfer from Michigan who is a game-changer in the paint. This would also be a pairing of two of the best backcourts in the country.
Trendy Bandwagon Pick
Brian: As I said before, ever since Pat Forde tweeted that Baylor was his Final Four pick in this Region, many (me included) have jumped on the Baylor Bears bandwagon. Duke is a solid club, and the Selection committee gave them one of the easiest roads to the Final Four. However, I still don't see Duke getting to Indianapolis.
Jeff: Searching the internet for "expert" picks, it looks like everyone has the winner of the Notre Dame-Baylor game going to the Elite Eight or further. So much for my prediction of Villanova being there but Baylor is the pick of these two that I can get behind as an Elite Eight or Final Four team much more so than Notre Dame.
The Sleeper Pick
Brian: I see this Regional ending up being full of sleepers. As I peer into my crystal ball, I see both the 12 seed (Utah State) and the 13 seed (Siena) advancing to the second round. I also like Old Dominion to upset Notre Dame, natch, and am throwing my support behind Saint Mary's in the 7 vs. 10 matchup. I'll go with a whopping 4 double-digit seeds advancing to the second round from this region.
Jeff: Take your pick of Utah State or Siena. With the Robbie Hummel injury, no one is picking Purdue to make the sweet 16 so that makes for an easy road for one of those double digit seeds.
Second Round: Duke, Cal, Texas A&M, Siena, Old Dominion, Baylor, Richmond, Villanova
Sweet 16: Duke, Texas A&M, Baylor, Villanova
Elite 8: Duke, Villanova
Final Four Pick: Duke
Second Round: Duke, California, Utah State, Siena, Old Dominion, Baylor, Saint Mary's, Villanova
Sweet 16: Duke, Utah State, Baylor, Saint Mary's
Elite 8: Duke, Baylor
Final Four Pick: Baylor