Round 2 of March Madness pits 16 teams playing in the South Region.
March Madness is upon us. Many have already filled out their brackets and started their office pools which were well known in US gambling news. Since the 8 bottom teams have been reduced, we can now begin to look at the 64 teams that will face of in the first round. These teams have been divided by the ratings for each region. The four regions are Midwest, East, West and South.
• March Madness overview
• South Region 2nd round
• March 19-March 20
The top teams of course will play the weaker teams. The regions don’t represent the geographical location of the teams. Teams are purposefully placed outside of their region as not to give any one team a home court advantage. Of course in the next two rounds you may have teams that are playing within 100 miles of their home town. Now let’s look at the games in the South Region competition in Charlotte, North Carolina; Portland, Oregon; Louisville, Kentucky and Seattle, Washington from March 19-20.
First up we have Duke University and Robert Morris University. The Duke Blue Devils are always a threat every year. They have no equal when it comes to consistency. This year their record of 29-4 pales in comparison to their “elite three.” Three freshmen, who are already NBA contenders and three others who are impressive, make Duke a “deep” team. Robert Morris has an average 19-14 record and won their division for their bid. Duke is normally a safe bet even in higher rounds according to US gambling laws.
San Diego State University and St. Johns University might be entertaining. The San Diego State Aztecs are an 8th seed with a 26-8 record. They have one of the best defensive teams in the country. Their offense is a little weak with no greater than 63-points on average. St. John’s played a hard non-conference schedule. There 21-11 record is impressive, but their center was suspended for 2 weeks. The Red Storm’s Harrison is 2nd in scoring in their division.
Portland will host 4 teams
The University of Utah and SF Austin University will square off. The Utah Utes have a 24-8 record, but lost 3 of their last 5 games. They’ve remained in the top 10 nationally throughout the season. Stephen F. Austin, with a record of 29-4, got their bid by winning the Southland Division Tournament. Their last year appearance in the first round was so memorable many have given them possible “Cinderella” status and see them going further than their numbers may predict.
Georgetown University and East Washington University will meet. The Georgetown Hoyas have a good team this year with a record of 21-10. Having two “showtime” guards in Smith Rivera and Trawick will make this a fun game. Their defeat of Villanova turned heads. Eastern Washington University is a 13th seed with a 26-8 record. The Eagles have the leading scorer in the country and they are one of the highest scoring teams in the division. This game is a good one for mobile sports betting punters.
Four to meet in Louisville, Kentucky
Southern Methodist University and University of California at Los Angeles will meet up. Southern Methodist has a 27-6 record. Their 6th seed is well earned. But they haven’t appeared in the tournament since 1993. Coach Larry Brown knows how to use his players so it could be good. The UCLA Bruins have a 20-13 record, but quietly made their way into the tournament in the 68 field. Although they have grown, it may not be enough for the season players that will come after this game.
Iowa State and University of Alabama Birmingham may not be the matchup of the tournament. The Iowa State Cyclones are a 3rd seed with a decent 25-8 record. They tend to be their most potent when they are behind by 10 points or over. Their last year appearance in the Sweet 16 makes this team more than competent. Alabama Birmingham have a record of 19-15. As a 14th seed they won their conference tournament at one win about .500 (winning barely half their games). This is their first appearance in the show.
Seattle will host Iowa, Davidson, Gonzaga and NDSU
University of Iowa and Davidson University should be interesting. The 3rd seeded Iowa had a 21-11 season and have Aaron White who is the only player in the nation to average more than 15-points and 7 rebounds a game. The Davidson Wildcats lost to Marquette 2 years ago in the 1st round. They average more than 80 points a game make more than 10 3-pointers a game. Their offense is superb and they are smart to match. This game will be a lot better than numbers may indicate.
Gonzaga University will face North Dakota State University will have their clash. The Gonzaga Bulldogs are a force to be reckoned with. Their super record of 32-2 makes them one of the top picks. They’re a team with size and depth. North Dakota state has a record of 23-9 and won their Summit League division for their bid. Their defeat of Oklahoma last year should help them. Defense is the key to this team allowing only 61.5 points on average during their regular season.