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NCAA Bracket 2011: Sweet 16 Southwest Bracket Predictions

San Antonio will host the battered survivors of the Southwest Region’s bracket, who could better be known as Bill Self and the stooges. A 12 seed, 11 seed, and 10 seed await the Kansas Jayhawks as Purdue, Notre Dame, and Louisville all got some time to get cracking on their finals early. Can any of the remaining teams give the Jayhawks a real game? Richmond, VCU, and Florida State have their work cut out for them.

Lets take a look at the region that your bracket is already likely finished with, unless you went chalk:

Southwest Region Predictions
1. Kansas Jayhawks versus 12. Richmond Spiders
Projected Winner (Pomeroy): Kansas 73-64 (82%)
Prediction: Kansas

If anyone left in this bracket has a shot at Kansas, it’s likely to be the Spiders. A combination of a slowdown pace and great three-point shooting will allow them to shorten the game as long as they can keep Kansas out of it’s transition offense. Richmond has some decent size inside with Justin Harper and Dan Geriot, but they aren’t really on the same tier as the Morris twins. I think this game will be tighter than the Pomeroy prediction, but it’s hard to pick against the better team in a close game, and Kansas is clearly the better team.

10 Florida St. Seminoles vs. 11 VCU Rams
Projected Winner (Pomeroy): Florida St. 68-65 (65%)
Prediction: Florida St.

This game's main event features the battle of Florida State’s excellent defense versus the excellent offense of the Rams. VCU torched Purdue for 94 points, and they’re an efficient low-turnover team that shouldn’t cough the ball up too often to Florida State. However, the Seminoles don’t really rely on turnovers so much as they do length. They can bother opponents into some really bad shots. I think this game may swing on the undercard: Florida State has a very turnover prone offense, but they can crash the boards with anyone in the nation. VCU, on the other hand, is 306th in the nation in allowing offensive rebounds. Look for a closely contested game that hits the under.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.