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NCAA Tournament Breakdowns - South, Part 2
Florida's Kenny Boynton
Florida's Kenny Boynton
Posted Mar 19, 2013

Quick analysis of every team in the NCAA tournament so you'll know what you're doing.

2013 NCAA Basketball Tourney

South - Bottom Half

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN

2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament Team Breakdowns
Play-In Games | South - Top Half | South - Bottom Half 
East - Top Half | East - Bottom Half
Midwest - Top Half | Midwest - Bottom Half
West - Top Half | West - Bottom Half

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know, we're, but like the rest of the world, we take a wee bit of a break for the first round of the NCAA college basketball tournament. Before you fill out your bracket - DON'T GUESS - check out the quick breakdown of each team with what you need to know to make an informed decision.
6. UCLA (25-9)
Here’s The Deal: The Bruins may not be as talented or as athletic as conference rival Arizona, but they won because caring is sharing. This is one of the most unselfish teams in the country behind guard Larry Drew II’s nearly eight assists per game. Shot-selection is put at a premium as three-point attempts play second-fiddle to higher-percentage shots 15 feet and in. Because of the great ball movement and sound judgment on launching shots, they also shoot a high percentage and can rack up points. Where UCLA may run into problems is if it matches up against a team that can shoot the ball from the outside and get physical up front. The D hasn’t guarded the perimeter well, which has by and large resulted in far too many points allowed.
Player You Need To Care About: It’s time to put on a show for the NBA types as the offensive workload should be squarely on the shoulders of freshman sensation Shabazz Muhammad, who leads the team in scoring at over 18 points a game. At 6-6, he can get his shot off easily out on the perimeter, but also has a soft spot for blowing around defenders and using his midrange game in and around the lane. This could be his tournament if the Bruins make any sort of a run.
Really, How Deep Will The Run Be? It depends on which Minnesota team shows up, but the Bruins will have problems on the boards and dealing with a front court that’s great at altering shots.


11. Minnesota (20-12)
Here’s The Deal: We’re not sure what we’re going to get from the Golden Gophers. There’s potential NBA talent at multiple positions, but this has been one of the nation’s most frustrating teams. There’s no question the collection of athletes on the team have the talent to play and beat anyone - see Indiana as exhibit A - but the absence of a true point-guard hurt the team on more than one occasion. A team’s prospects of making a loud-decibel noise in March is always contingent on matchups, but even more so with this team, it’s about getting some positive momentum early on. If it can stay away from a team that has great pressure on the ball, there’s some hay to be made. If not, turnovers might become the ugly step-sister again.
Player You Need To Care About: While point-guard Andre Hollins lacks the pure skills normally needed, he makes up for it with his ability to score the ball. He’s an athlete that can beat defenses getting to the tin or pulling up with big jumpers. He’s also strong and physical and can chip in from the point-guard spot on the boards when needed while also serving as the leading scorer and floor general on a balanced and athletic team. When the game is on the line, he’ll be the guy the coaching staff will trust to make magic happen.
Really, How Deep Will The Run Be? The tournament will reflect the season. The Gophers will look great against UCLA to make people think the chance could be there to make a big run, and then will come a total clunker against Florida.

3. Florida (26-7)
Here’s The Deal: There were times when the Gators looked absolutely dominant. Everyone expected them to be a top ten caliber-type team throughout the season, and the early success in the SEC had folks beginning to whisper the words national championship contender because of demolishing efforts against good teams like Wisconsin, Missouri and Ole Miss. But then there was the level-setting of expectations when they got their doors blown-off in Fayetteville against Arkansas. Still, when things are going right, they’re a scoring machine that can hit knock down three-balls, push the pace and go on big-time runs. Where the team has gotten off-track has been when the offense isn’t working or is losing the turnover battle. Bottom line, if head coach Billy Donovan’s club is playing its game, it could make a serious run towards the whole enchilada, but if the offense sputters, there could be a quick exit.
Player You Need To Care About: The Gators have great guard play with seniors Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario, but perhaps no other player is more important than big man Erik Murphy. The offense can spend a lot of time beating teams up on the perimeter with hot shooting and stick-em defense, but there are going to be matchups against teams where the 6-10 Murphy will have to provide resistance and scoring on the inside. He can play the forward or center position to create mismatches, and is able to score and rebound fine enough out of either spot at 12.4 points and 5.2 rebounds a game. His versatility and ability to step up on the blocks will have everything to do with the ability of the Gators to get to Atlanta – they can be that good when the team is on.
Really, How Deep Will The Run Be? Northwestern State will be a tougher out than the Gators might like. They’ll survive and advance and have even more problems against San Diego State, but they’ll get by before getting outgunned by Michigan in the Elite Eight.


14. Northwestern State (23-8)
Here’s The Deal: The Demons finished just one game behind Stephen F. Austin in the Southland regular season, but they got the last laugh by pulling out a hard-fought 68-66 win in the conference championship to gain the automatic bid to the tournament. If you like offense, buckle up and get ready to enjoy the ride from an offense that leads the nation with 82 points a game. This is a deep team that looks to speed up the opposition and force teams into mistakes before turning things up a notch to go the other way. They shoot and share the ball well, but there’s that big elephant in the room called competition. It’s going to go up significantly now.
Player You Need To Care About: You’d think that a team that scores points in bunches would have its best player be a sharp-shooting guard. Not in this case. The Demons like to go to junior forward DeQuan Hicks, who just came back after being out for four games because of a foot injury. Tied for the team lead in rebounds despite only averaging about twenty minutes of game time for the season, he’s also a strong and reliable shooter who’s great at coming up with the key basket.
Really, How Deep Will The Run Be? Get your track shoes ready for a wild up-and-down race with Florida. The Demons will put up points, but they’ll lose in a firefight.

7. San Diego State (22-10)
Here’s The Deal: The Aztecs are a much better team than the record indicates. Generally, finishing 9-7 in the Mountain West won’t do much to impress the tournament selection committee, but there were several close losses and some impressive flag-planting wins in both the non-conference and within the league throughout the year. They rely on a smaller lineup that utilizes quickness and athleticism over brawn and height, swarming the ball on defense. Despite the lack of height, this group is great at selling out on the glass while being able to play with almost any team athletically. However, the lack of a great outside sniper in combination with poor free throw shooting will have to be covered up.
Player You Need To Care About: It’s a rarity to find a guard that almost averages a double-double, but junior guard Jamaal Franklin is aggressive and attacking when the ball is on the glass. At just 6-5, he has 12 double-doubles on the year while leading the team in points per game, field-goal percentage, rebounds, steals and highlight clips. It’s time to saddle him up and go riding.
Really, How Deep Will The Run Be? The guard play will be strong enough to get to the Sweet Sixteen after a huge upset over Georgetown. Don’t be shocked if the Aztecs get to the Elite Eight, but they won’t be able to get by Michigan.


10. Oklahoma (20-11)
Here’s The Deal: It took awhile for folks to take note of the work that the Sooners put together, but an 11-7 finish in the Big 12 is nothing to sneeze at – the team flies under the radar because it wins in unspectacular fashion. There aren’t a whole lot of shiny objects to look at, but the team plays well together, doesn’t make tons of mistakes and generally wins games it’s supposed to. There weren’t a whole lot of marquee wins that jumped out during the regular season schedule, and now it’s time to start to shine.
Player You Need To Care About: Get ready to meet senior forward Romero Osby. He was the clear-cut best player on an OU team that seemed to be in the shadows for most of the season. As a result, not many casual fans know about the 6-8, 232-pound forward who became the team’s leading scorer and rebounder while making more than half of the shots he puts up.
Really, How Deep Will The Run Be? Can the Sooners handle the San Diego State athleticism? Osby will roll inside, but there will be too many problems with the Aztec quickness.

2. Georgetown (25-6)
Here’s The Deal: Everyone kept waiting for the Hoyas to stumble against more athletic teams, but they just kept winning. Under head coach John Thompson III, the Hoyas run a Princeton style offense that’s predicated on back-cuts, pick and pops, along with extreme patience. Where the Hoyas have been exemplary, though, is on the defensive side where they’ve hovered around the top ten in the country in both points allowed and field goal percentage defense. This is a solid, no-frills type of team that can slowly and efficiently put opponents away.
Player You Need To Care About: Forward Otto Porter, Jr. is the one big player who stands out, but Georgetown is a total team. The 6-8 forward can bury it from the outside and yet use his uncanny knack for getting into open spaces from the elbow area in. From there, he doesn’t miss often and can get hot for stretches and carry the team for a few games.
Really, How Deep Will The Run Be? The Hoyas will roll through Florida Gulf Coast but won’t be able to deal with the San Diego State athleticism and aggressiveness.


15. Florida Gulf Coast (24-10)
Here’s The Deal: Mercer and Florida Gulf Coast went back and forth for the regular-season crown of the Atlantic Sun with Eagles finishing just a game back. But when it was all on the line in the tournament championship, they won the game, the tournament and the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. This is the team that has the distinction of knocking off Miami early in the year by 12 before everything started to click for the ACC champs. In that game, FGCU somewhat surprisingly dominated the Canes on points in the paint and on the boards - but that was an anomaly with a small lineup without a traditional center. They’ll look to force some turnovers and then get down the floor and get the best shot possible on the other end. On the negative side, kicking the ball away has been an issue.
Player You Need To Care About: For the Eagles, senior guard Sherwood Brown can be a game-changer averaging over 15 points per contest while pulling down half-a-dozen rebounds. He's also isn’t afraid of bombing away from deep. It’ll be a tall order for the Eagles to spring an upset, but if they do, it’ll be because of what Brown can do for you.
Really, How Deep Will The Run Be? They won’t get embarrassed by a meat-and-potatoes Georgetown team, but there won’t be another Miami miracle.

2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament Team Breakdowns
Play-In Games | South - Top Half | South - Bottom Half 
East - Top Half | East - Bottom Half
Midwest - Top Half | Midwest - Bottom Half
West - Top Half | West - Bottom Half