2012 March Madness South Region 3rd Round Preview


2012 March Madness South Region 3rd Round Preview

The South Region has already seen a couple upsets. Colorado beat UNLV in the 2nd round and VCU upset Wichita State. VCU was able to make a run to the Final Four last season and they’ll be a live dog in the 3rd round. Check out our predictions for each of the 3rd round games in the South Region and find out what teams made it out of the 2nd round this week.

2012 March Madness South Region Predictions (3rd Round)

• #1 Kentucky Wildcats -11 vs. #8 Iowa State Cyclones +11

Both teams didn’t have much problem advancing into the 3rd round, but ISU played a much tougher team. Iowa State took care of business by beating last year’s champs 77-64 and Kentucky beat WKU 81-66 in an easy game. Kentucky wasn’t tested in their first game, but they will be tested against the Cyclones in this South Region 3rd round match-up.

ISU shot nearly 50% in the 2nd round against UCONN and will need to replicate that performance. They also went 19-20 from the foul line and if they can do that again they will give Kentucky a hard time. The spread is high at -11 points in my opinion and I’m going to ride another underdog in the 3rd round. I’ll take the Cyclones at +11 although I think Wildcats prevail in a close game.

• #12 VCU Rams +6 vs. #4 Indiana Hoosiers -6

VCU Rams might be the Cinderella team to look out for in the tourney again this year. They made the Final Four lat year and will be playing the Hoosiers in the 3rd round tomorrow. VCU won a close game 62-59 over Wichita State while the Hoosiers were able to destroy New Mexico State 79-66. NMSU made a run late in the game, but it wasn’t nearly enough to make the game close.

VCU played dominating defence against the Shockers and held Wichita State to under 39% from the field. They’ll need a similar defensive effort if they want to be able to control Indiana. The Hoosiers have a high powered offence and that could mean big trouble for the underdog in this game. I think the Rams story ends here this season and I’ll take Indiana by -6 points.

• #11 Colorado Buffaloes +7.5 vs. #3 Baylor Bears -7.5

Colorado upset UNLV in the 2nd round of the March Madness tournament 68-64. The Buffaloes started out on fire and built up a huge lead in the game, but UNLV made a desperate run in the 2nd half to close the gap. Baylor was losing big in their 1st game to South Dakota State, but the team’s athleticism and experience helped them win the game 68-60.

Baylor just covered the spread against a pretty bad team and I don’t see how the Bears are going to cover against a Buffaloes team that is shooting the lights out from beyond the arc. If Colorado can shoot over 50% from 3 point distance this game should be closely contested and I like the points in this game although Baylor should win the game at the end.

• #10 Xavier Musketeers vs. #15 Lehigh Mountain Hawks

Xavier beat #7 Notre Dame 67-63 in a very close game. Xavier was able to knock down some timely shots down the stretch and pulled away just enough to win the game. Lehigh played one of the best games I’ve seen in awhile against a top team. Lehigh was in the lead most of the game against the #2 Duke Blue Devils and they managed to hold on for the win.

Lehigh is led by two amazing players that can control the ball very well and don’t turnover it much. CJ McCollum scored 30 for his Mountain Hawks to catapult them into the round of 32. I think Lehigh is going to be able to win this game after watching them play against Duke. Lehigh has amazing guard play and I think the guards on Lehigh will outscore the guards on Xavier.

What Team Looks the Best?

4 of the 8 teams in the 3rd round of the South Region shouldn’t be here if seeds had anything to do with it. The South Region had a ton of great upsets in the 2nd round including Lehigh beating Duke and VCU beating Wichita State. Kentucky is definitely the best team in the South Region and I’m sure they feel they can make it to the Final Four.

Anything but a Final Four appearance for the Kentucky Wildcats would be a disappointment for the entire team. Kentucky’s toughest game is going to come tomorrow against Iowa State in my opinion. Indiana is also a strong team in the region still, but the Cyclones are just as good if not better than the Hoosiers plus the Cyclones don’t receive as much respect.

Kentucky will need to come out ready to play tomorrow, but if they beat Iowa State they’ll be looking good. Baylor is still going to be a threat in the South Region, but they didn’t look good in the 2nd round. Baylor did just enough to win the game and unless Perry Jones III can find his game the Bears are going to be making an earlier than anticipated exit from the big dance.

VCU, Colorado, Lehigh and Xavier are all high seeds that have already pulled off an upset to make it this far. I don’t think any of these teams will be able to beat Kentucky if it comes down to it. Kentucky has tons of size and the team can flat out play ball better than the rest of the teams in the region.

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