Southeast Region Preview

There is plenty of focus on the Southeast bracket as the four remaining teams hit the court in New Orleans on Thursday night. The No. 1 seed is gone, but the caliber of teams remaining didn't take much of a hit. The bracket has four teams playing well, some with one elite scorer while others who distribute the scoring more evenly.

Florida vs. BYU, Thursday at 7:27.


F: Alex Tyus
F: Chandler Parsons
C: Vernon Macklin
G: Kenny Boynton
G: Erving Walker

What they're doing well: The backcourt is scoring big numbers. Boynton and Walker combined for 33 points against UCLA, with Walker leading the way and getting 21 of them. The duo combined for 31 points against UC Santa Barbara while both playing under 30 minutes in the opening round.

The two must force Fredette to play defense, something he has struggled to do at some points this season. The Gators' guards must take advantage of their quickness in this matchup.

What they're not doing well: Defensive rebounding. This is somewhat of a stretch because it's hard to find a weakness in Florida's recent play, but the Gators have allowed 22 offensive rebounds to opponents in the last two games, with 14 coming against UCLA. Lucky for Florida, it faces a BYU team without much of a rebounding presence.


F: Charles Abouo
F: Noah Hartsock
G: Jackson Emery
G: Kyle Collinsworth
G: Jimmer Fredette

What they're doing well: Jimmer Fredette. It's really that simple. He went for 34 points in a win over Gonzaga to bring the Cougars into the Sweet 16 while shooting 7-for-12 from behind the three-point line. This came after he hung 32 points on Wofford in the opening round game for BYU.

This is the matchup that will easily be the most interesting to watch against Florida. The Gators will start shooting guard Kenny Boynton on Fredette. Boynton sprained his ankle against UCLA but he practiced fully on Wednesday and is expected to be at full speed. He needs to be, or the Gators will be forced to play the shorter Scottie Wilbekin on Fredette.

The most important aspect for Florida might be to keep the role players down. If the Gators let Fredette get his points and hold the other players to minimal scoring, Florida can still win.

What they're not doing well: Rebounding. When Brandon Davies was kicked off the BYU team for a violation of team rules, the Cougars lost their biggest presence in the post. Their leading rebounder on the team now is Hartsock, averaging 5.9 per game.

This will be a challenge against a Florida team that has outrebounded most of its opponent this season. If the Gators are able to create a presence in the paint early, it could be a long night for the Cougars.

Butler vs. Wisconsin, Thursday at 9:57


F: Andrew Smith
F: Matt Howard
G: Shelvin Mack
G: Shawn Vanzant
G: Chase Stigall

What they're doing well: The Mack/Howard combination. The two combined for 46 points in the upset win over Pittsburgh. Mack shot 7-for-12 from behind the three-point line to give them a presence outside, while Howard, who can also shoot from the perimeter, hit three three-pointers of his own.

What they're not doing well: Howard's defense. He has fouled out four times this season and can be a liability when he gets into an attacking mode and plays too aggressive.


F: Tim Jarmusz
F: Jon Leuer
F: Keaton Nankivil
G: Jordan Taylor
G: Josh Gasser

What they're doing well: Leuer has proven to be the Badgers' most consistent player through the first two games of the NCAA Tournament. He has combined for 41 points in wins over Belmont and Kansas State. The 6-10 senior provides toughness to a Badgers team that prides itself on it.

What they're not doing well: It's tough to find anything. The Badgers are playing good defense and scoring above 70 points in both games. Point guard Jordan Taylor would provide a tough matchup for Florida's smaller guards if this matchup happens.

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