2023 March Madness Preview and Predictions: South Region

2023 March Madness Preview and Predictions: South Region


2023 March Madness Preview and Predictions: South Region


Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

March Madness is finally here, so it is time to break down each region and see who reaches the Final Four and which teams disappoint. Starting with the South, this region has some very underrated teams that can make a run. 


First Round Upsets

Going through the first round of this region, the South has the highest possibilities of first round upsets. You have the faithful 5 v 12 matchup of San Diego State vs. Charleston, a heavily underrated Furman team going against Virginia, and who knows, maybe a UCSB upset over Baylor. 


13 Furman over 4 Virginia

The only one I truly think happens is 13 seed Furman over four seed Virginia. Year after year, Virginia comes into the tournament with the same MO. Play slow ball and milk the clock. Furman is the exact opposite. They shoot the three at a higher rate than anyone in the country, and it will continue to be a big part of their game in the tournament. Virginia would have to be on it with their perimeter defense and run the tempo of the game. If they start to miss early, Furman could easily run away with this one.  

The Favorites

1 Alabama 

Alabama enters as the one seed and the best player in the entire tournament with Brandon Miller. On paper, they can beat any team in the tournament with a complete offense and defense, which very few teams have. They don’t have many weaknesses unless they get into foul trouble, which has been an issue a few times over the course of the year. Whichever team ends up taking them out will have to put a ton of pressure on the ball and be extra aggressive, even if it doesn’t work out. 


2 Arizona

Arizona is the two seed and my pick to come out of the region and into the Final Four. I usually stay away from teams that won their conference tournament, but I think the PAC-12 win is a testament to their strengths, and it isn’t something they’ll let up easily. Especially because outside of them and UCLA, the PAC-12 has no one that is scary enough to come close to making a run. Arizona is full of veterans, and they have a solid two-sided game plan. If there is a team to beat Alabama, it would be Arizona, and the fact that they are in the same region makes me think that it is Alabama’s region to lose and Arizona’s region to run away with. 


The Dark Horses

6 Creighton 

Creighton has the team to make a run as a six-seed. Led by Ryan Kalkbrenner, the Big East team can play all over the court. They play up to their opponent and when they lose, they lose closely. They can play up to any team in the tournament, and they have proved that this season, including very close losses to Texas and Arizona. I have Creighton beating NC State as well as upsetting Baylor and getting taken down by Arizona, who already beat them closely this past season. They realistically can take down Arizona as well with the revenge factor, but ultimately, Arizona is the better team in the tournament. 


10 Utah State

Utah State comes in as a 10 seed in a very solid Mountain West conference. They are very efficient on both sides of the ball, but I’m not sure how they can pummel teams to the ground outside the conference. I think they definitely win a game, but they have the potential to knock out two seed Arizona in round two. 



13 Furman 

Only one Cinderella in this region and that is Furman making the Sweet 16. If they have enough to get past Virginia, I see no reason why they can’t get past San Diego State in round two. Furman is currently +750 to reach the Sweet 16, and I am taking that all day!


Region Winner Prediction: 2 Arizona 

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