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NCAA Bracket 2011: Sweet 16 Southeast Bracket Predictions

Most of the favorites made it through unscathed in the Southeast Region bracket. Well, except the #1 seed, of course. Pittsburgh’s stunning exit under a flurry of stupid fouls has left the region wide open for any of it’s higher seeds, or perhaps even Butler, who has won a pair of tight contests. Who will emerge from the pack? Will it be Jimmertime? Perhaps Wisconsin can finally break through to the FInal Four for the first time since 2000?

Lets take a look and see who will emerge from the Sweet 16 in the consensus weakest region in the tournament:

Southeast Region Predictions
8. Butler Bulldogs versus 4. Wisconsin Badgers

Projected Winner (Pomeroy): Wisconsin 66-59 (80%)
Prediction: Wisconsin

A lot of people will have you believe that this Wisconsin team will be relying on defense in this game: don’t buy the hype. Wisconsin’s poor PPG and low points allowed come primarily from running one of the slowest paces in college basketball. In Jordan Taylor and Jon Leuer, the Badgers have a pair of players that can fill the basket up pretty easily. Butler has some factors going for it in this game as well though: their low turnover offense should be pretty efficient against a team that rarely ever steals the ball. The key for this game is going to be Butler’s three-point shooting. If they can stick enough open threes against Wisconsin, they’ll have a chance. Wisconsin will win pretty convincingly if they don’t.

2. Florida Gators vs. 3. BYU Cougars
Projected Winner (Pomeroy); BYU 74-73 (56%)
Prediction: Florida

Jimmer Fredette is a one-man army, and I think it’s clear that he’ll keep BYU in this game. However, without Brandon Davies, I’m skeptical that BYU can matchup against the Gators size. Vernon Macklin is going to be a load in the box for Noah Hartsock, and BYU doesn’t really have anyone that can check a healthy Chandler Parsons either. It’ll be a close game because of Fredette and BYU’s long-range shooting, but look for the better athletes and inside game to win out.

If you’d like to fill out your own predictions, perhaps SB Nation’s downloadable and printable bracket would be right up your alley?

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