Breaking Down the Brackets: Southeast Region Part II

Steve O Speak

Number 2 Seed Florida Gators:

Why Florida can win the region:

A lot of people look at the Gators as a 4 seed playing the role of a 2 seed, but they aren’t without talent. Florida won the SEC regular season title, and held out to win the SEC East, which sent 5 teams to the NCAA tournament. While Kentucky did beat them twice pretty bad late in the season, Florida was still a very good team throughout the season.

The Gators have good inside-outside talent, and pretty decent depth. Their guards are quick and will give defenses a lot of problems, and their frontcourt has some of the best size in the nation. While consistency is an issue, their raw talent and size usually gets Florida the win. The Gators also have a pretty good coach, won who had back-to-back NCAA titles earlier this decade.

Why they won’t win:

The Southeast might not be the most top heavy region in the tournament, but I believe it is the deepest. No matter who wins the other games in the bottom of the bracket, Florida will have to face two of BYU, Michigan St, UCLA, Gonzaga, St. Johns. That’s not an envious road for anyone, and if they survive that they could very well have to face a Pitt team that won the toughest conference during the regular season.

While I love Florida’s size and depth, I do worry about their performance against both Ohio St. and Kentucky, who were the best teams they played all season. Florida will need to show they can be consistent against top talent, otherwise it could be a quick tournament for the Gators.

Top Player In the Region:

BYU G Jimmer Fredette

I know there are a number of great young players in this region, but none of them are as dominate as the man known simply as Jimmer. Fredette took BYU on his back this season. Although people might question whether the Cougars can succeed against stronger talent no one can question Fredette. He had a .456 FG%, .891 FT % and a .404 3pt %, that amounted to a 28.5 ppg average. In addition to his scoring ability, Fredette added 4.2 assists per game and 3.5 rebounds. The Cougars will go as far as Fredette goes, which given his talent, could be a couple of rounds.




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