Brandon A. Quick | Tue 20/03/2018 - 13:29 EDT

2018 March Madness South Regionals Predictions

2018 March Madness South Regionals Predictions

Breaking Down The Remnants 

Looking at the remaining teams - Kentucky, Kansas State, Nevada and Loyola-Chicago - this bunch looks more like an early season invitational field, than teams left playing for a chance at the Final Four. Kentucky is clearly the favorite as they are the only remaining team with any cache, tradtion or name-recognition in the landscape of college basektball. 

Many pundits are conceding the South regional to Kentucky at this point, but I'm not so sure. Let's keep in mind that these Wildcats struggled to ten regular season losses and while they've played well so far in the tournament, they've beaten 12th-seeded Davidson and 13th-seeded Buffalo. 

By The Odds

Nevada -1.5 (O/U: 143) vs. Loyola-Chicago (Thurs, March 22 @ 7:07 ET)

First off, if there's a bracket alive that successfully picked this matchup, I want to see it. That said, you have to tip your hat to both squads. Loyola-Chicago, an 11 seed, beat two formidable teams to reach this point, upsetting sixth-seeded Miami and third-seeded Tennessee with a pair of buzzer beaters. The Ramblers aren't a household name, but they also aren't a fluke. They were the best team in the Missouri Valley Conference this season and there's no reason to think the clock has struck midnight on their Cinderella story. 

Nevada has been solid this season in its own right, winning the Mountain West regular season before stubbing its toe against San Diego State in the conference tournament. If not for that loss, the Wolf Pack would have likely earned a 5 or 6 seed in the tournament. In its two NCAA games, Nevada beat Texas in overtime and then showed considerable resilience to overcome a 22-point deficit en route to toppling second-seeded Cincinatti in Round 2. 

This game is very difficult to read. I'm impressed with Loyola-Chicago on the defensive end, but Nevada was able to defeat one of the best defensive teams in the country in Cincinatti. My feeling is that Nevada has the better roster, so I'll lean towards the Wolf Pack in this spot. 

TAKE Nevada -1.5

Kentucky -6 (O/U: 138) vs. Kansas State (Thurs, March 22 @ 9:37 ET)

I'll start by saying that I'm not impressed with either set of Wildcats. Collectively, the highest seed either team has beaten to reach this point is eighth-seeded Creighton. I get that you can only play the teams in front of you, but it's hard to get too excited about this matchup. UK has much better athleticism than does KSU, but that doesn't mean this won't be a dogfight. Look for KSU to muck up the game with premium effort and physicality. If they can successfully induce UK to play a halfcourt game/low-scoring game - cliche as that sounds - then this one goes down to the wire. 

TAKE Kansas State +6

Looking Ahead

I'm about 85% sure, we are going to see a Kentucky/Nevada matchup on Saturday night to see who goes to the Final Four from the South regional. If this game materializes, UK will surely play the favorite's role once again. Look for the Wildcats to be 5-8-point favorites in the Elite 8 game regardless of which opponent -Nevada or Loyola-Chicago - they play.

Results / FixturesNCAAB

Category : Sporting News


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