2013 NCAA Basketball Tourney
South - Regional Final
NCAA Tourney Picks East
How are our picks so far? Straight Up:
12-2 ATS: 6-8
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SCROLL DOWN for the earlier round picks and quick
No. 3 Florida (29-7) vs. No.
4 Michigan (29-7)
Why To Pick Florida: The Gators have been ruthlessly
efficient and effective, blowing off an early big
start by Florida Gulf Coast by turning up the heat
and the defensive pressure and shutting the game
down cold. Michigan isn't Florida Gulf Coast, but
Florida has the aggressiveness on D, especially on
the perimeter, to force lots and lots of turnovers.
FGSU kicked it over 20 times, and while Kansas
wasn't able to take the ball away from the
Wolverines, Florida should apply far more pressure.
Why To Pick Michigan: The Wolverines have the
athleticism needed to get by Florida. Florida Gulf
Coast was able to jump out to a big lead by being
able to run and gun, but it didn't have the talent
to keep it up once the Gators played D. Michigan has
that talent, and it should be able to win the battle
on the boards while scoring from all angles. Mitch
McGary held his own on the interior, and if he can
do that again, the outside shooting should work -
Florida doesn't have a Jeff Withey on the interior.
The Pick: Michigan 68-64. Florida might be playing
at a high level, but Michigan got its game going in
overtime against Kansas and the momentum should
FINAL SCORE: COMING
No. 1 Kansas (31-5) vs. No.
4 Michigan (28-7)
Line: Kansas -2
Why To Pick Kansas: Can KU rebound like it did
against North Carolina? Jeff Withey cleaned up
everything and was a force inside against the Tar
Heels with five blocked shots. Michigan has been
flying to the rim without a problem, but now it has
to deal with a big tree in the middle that can grab
everything, helping the Jayhawks to beat UNC on the
glass 47-30. If Michigan has to turn into a
perimeter shooting team, it could start to struggle
and go into a funk - the team is feeding off the big
Why To Pick Michigan: Everything is clicking at just
the right time. Kansas was able to whack an
inconsistent North Carolina team that couldn't
shoot, but it's going to have a nightmare of a time
against a Wolverine offense that's flying around and
doing a phenomenal job of making the extra passes to
get the open shots. The threes might not be falling,
but everything else is with Tim Hardaway Jr. Trey
Burke, Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III all
taking their game up a notch. The offense should
The Pick: Michigan 74-65. Kansas is well past its
midseason doldrums and has the combination of inside
presence and good guard play to give Michigan fits,
but the Wolverine guards will be better than the KU
guards and Withey will be neutralized at times by
quick strikes to get easy points before he can get
to the play.
FINAL SCORE: Michigan 87-85 OT
No. 3 Florida (28-7) vs. No. 15 Florida
Gulf Coast (26-10)
Why To Pick Florida: The Gators have had almost a
week to prepare while also having to hear about
Florida Gulf Coast, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida Gulf
Coast. There's a wee bit more motivation than just a
trip to the Elite Eight considering the geography,
but it's going to come down to the ability to get
hot from the floor. The Eagles are active, but as
long as the ball is moving around and the tempo kept
under wraps, there won't be a problem. Florida can
shoot its way out of jams, and it if's hot early,
get ready for a grind.
Why To Pick Florida Gulf Coast: Is any team playing
with more confidence and playing looser? The
ultra-athletic Eagles don't have a problem running
with layup and dunk after layup and dunk, hitting
56% of their shots against a San Diego State team
that's eerily similar in a lot of ways to the
Gators. The scoring is coming from all sides - it's
not just Sherwood Brown and his dry, dullish
speeches. The offense is moving the ball extremely
well doing a great job of coming up with the extra
The Pick: Florida 81-67. Florida Gulf Coast has been
a fun story, but the aggressive Gator defense will
come out jacked up and looking to end this early.
After a big early run by Florida to get up big, FGCU
will start to bomb, won't have any luck and will
fall right into Billy Donovan's plan.
FINAL SCORE: Florida 62-50
No. 1 Kansas (30-5) vs. No.
8 North Carolina (25-10)
Why To Pick Kansas: When the Jayhawks finally
decided to start playing, they were able to clamp
down on a WKU team that finished hitting 3-of-20
three-point chances. Rebounding was a problem
against the Hilltoppers, but UNC is coming off an
awful day on the boards. That was about as bad as KU
could play offensively - going 0-from-6 from three
and turning it over 17 times - and it still managed
to come away with the win.
Why To Pick North Carolina: Will Kansas stay in its
funk? If WKU had any semblance of talent, or timely
three point shooting ability, it would've come out
with a win. North Carolina got balanced scoring in
the opener against Villanova with four players in
double figures, and it should be able to keep the
pressure on offensively. The Tar Heels can play KU's
style and should be able to run when needed.
The Pick: North Carolina 75-72. Even if Kansas
didn't play a total dud of a second rounder, North
Carolina might be the pick. When everything is
working, this is a dangerous Tar Heel team with the
talent to hang around with anyone. If KU is in any
sort of lull, it'll be hammered on fast breaks.
FINAL SCORE: Kansas 70-58
No. 4 Michigan (27-7) vs. No. 5 Virginia Commonwealth (27-8)
Line: Michigan -3
Why To Pick Michigan: The Wolverines are going to be a wee bit stronger
defensively than Akron was. VCU overwhelmed the Zips
from the start and took them completely out of their
game. Akron connected on 1-of-13 from three and his
just 35% from the field, but Michigan will do a far
better job of getting to the basket and should be
able to match the guards shot for shot. The scary
part about Michigan's win over SDSU? Trey Burke
didn't get going. He won't do 2-of-12 again.
Why To Pick VCU: The Rams appear to be playing with extreme confidence.
They have the guards and the smarts in the backcourt
to matchup extremely well with the Wolverines, and
they'll have no problems running and gunning and
making this a bit of an up-and-down fight. Michigan
isn't too sloppy with the ball, but it'll make its
share of mistakes and it'll get cold for a few
The Pick: Michigan 84-80. For everyone waiting for a
really, really good game this tournament, this will
FINAL SCORE: Michigan 78-53
No. 3 Florida (27-7) vs. No. 11 Minnesota (21-12)
Line: Florida -8.5
Why To Pick Florida: The Gators handled the shift
changes and depth of Northwestern State without a
problem; they can deal with the Minnesota bench and
athleticism. Great on the boards from all areas,
Florida has the ability to hold up against the
Minnesota length and interior toughness. Minnesota
won't get the easy second chance points they enjoyed
against a squishy-soft UCLA.
Why To Pick Minnesota: This is a flaky team, and
against UCLA it was flaky-good. The energy was there
and the aggressiveness led to rebound after rebound,
even though the Bruins were also tough on the glass.
The defense forced several big mistakes and didn't
allow much from the outside - UCLA hit just 4-of-22
three pointers. Overall, the athleticism is there to
The Pick: Florida 75-68. The Gators will be too
active defensively and too sound for a Minnesota
team that makes way too many mistakes and goes into
funks way too often.
FINAL SCORE: Florida 78-64
No. 7 San Diego State (23-10) vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast (25-10)
Line: San Diego State -7.5
Why To Pick San Diego State: Georgetown was an awful matchup against Florida
Gulf Coast - San Diego State has the right mix. The
Aztecs can move, can get balanced scoring when
needed, and can attack the boards from all five
spots. They're athletic enough to hold up if the
Eagles go on a run and get the emotional side of
things out of the way. FCGC will have the world on
its side, but the Aztecs aren't going to have a
problem with it.
Why To Pick Florida Gulf Coast: Run, run, run. This is a high-flying team that
likes to get up and down the court in a hurry and
can attack and fast break as well as any team left
in the tournament. San Diego State will want to run,
but the Eagles can do it better.
The Pick: San Diego State 78-68. The Aztecs won't
take this game lightly. With the guards to match up
well and the ability to get on the boards better,
this is a good fit for a San Diego State team built
to make a good run.
FINAL SCORE: Florida Gulf Coast 81-71
No. 1 Kansas (29-5) vs. No. 16 Western Kentucky (20-15)
Line: Kansas -20
Why To Pick Kansas: WKU is way too careless with the ball. For a minor team to beat KU, it has to be red hot from three and has to be flawless when it comes to turnovers – that’s not WKU. The half-court defense should shut down the Sun Belt champs cold.
Why To Pick Western Kentucky: Bad things tend to happen when Kansas plays a mid-major it’s supposed to beat. The Hilltoppers are red hot coming into the tournament with the ability to bang on the boards and fight and claw their way to make this interesting. This is a fearless squad.
The Pick: Kansas 75-50. Western Kentucky is going to have a really, really hard time scoring.
FINAL SCORE: Kansas 64-57
No. 8 North Carolina (24-10) vs. No. 9 Villanova (20-13)
Line: North Carolina -4
Why To Pick North Carolina: Villanova is very, very flaky. When things aren’t working, it gets ugly with no consistent scoring punch and a mediocre defense that can’t handle teams that can hit from the outside. The Tar Heel guards should own the tempo.
Why To Pick Villanova: It’s not like North Carolina has been a model of consistency, either. The Tar Heel guards might be talented, and they might be starting to come into their own, but they also make too many mistakes. When Villanova is on, it can beat any team in the tournament.
The Pick: North Carolina 75-69. Villanova will struggle way too much defensively and won’t be consistent enough on offense – the three point shooting will be painful – to make a run needed to take control.
FINAL SCORE: North Carolina 78-71
No. 5 Virginia Commonwealth (26-8) vs. No. 12 Akron (26-6)
Line: VCU -8
Why To Pick Virginia Commonwealth: The Rams know what they’re doing. Actually, the coaching staff knows what it’s doing in the tournament, helped by having a team stronger than the one that got to the Final Four. The team can flat out score with points coming with ease on the defensive game that pressures the ball well leading to easy transition points.
Why To Pick Akron: The Zips do a little of everything well, and if they can turn this into a half-court game, they could have a shot. VCU is aggressive on defense, but they can have problems on the boards. As long as this doesn’t get into a track meet and Akron can use its size, it has a shot.
The Pick: VCU 74-64. The Ram guards are way too good and way too aggressive for the Akron backcourt. The turnover margin will be massive.
FINAL SCORE: VCU 88-42
No. 4 Michigan (26-7) vs. No. 13 South Dakota State (25-9)
Line: Michigan -11
Why To Pick Michigan: The Wolverines have way too much firepower and way too much overall talent for the Jackrabbits, especially in the backcourt. If Michigan’s head is in the right spot defensively and the guards are aggressive against the three, this could get really ugly really fast.
Why To Pick South Dakota State: Can the Jackrabbits use their defense to screw up the young Michigan guards? The Wolverines haven’t exactly been at their best late in the season, especially in tight situations. If the game can be drawn out a bit and occasionally slowed to a crawl, Michigan should make more mistakes.
The Pick: Michigan 72-62. The South Dakota State threes will keep this much, much closer than the Wolverines might like.
FINAL SCORE: Michigan 71-56
No. 6 UCLA (25-9) vs. No. 11 Minnesota (20-12)
Line: Minnesota -3
Why To Pick UCLA: Sometimes, teams get bashed so much and are so maligned that they rise up and prove everyone wrong. Minnesota is the hot 6-11 upset pick with most of the big analysts assuming a Gopher win, but UCLA has the talent and athleticism to make the plays needed to swing the ball around to avoid the Gopher shot blockers.
Why To Pick Minnesota: This isn’t a great-shooting UCLA team and it could have a really, really hard time on the interior if the passing game isn’t clicking. This isn’t a physical Bruin team and it could get shoved around for too many second chance points.
The Pick: Minnesota 70-65. The Gophers will show up on the boards and get chance after chance. UCLA will go on a few big runs, but it won’t be enough once things grind down.
FINAL SCORE: Minnesota 83-63
No. 3 Florida (26-7) vs. No. 14 Northwestern State (23-8)
Line: Florida -20
Why To Pick Florida: Northwestern State plays the exact type of style that should fit Florida to a T. Able to score inside and out and great at pushing the tempo, the Gators will have no problem whatsoever if the Demons want to start running. If there’s a little bit of early momentum, everything will quickly fall into place.
Why To Pick Northwestern State: Watch out for the bombs. The Demons have one of the most lethal attacks in the country with a deep group that can run and run and run some more. They can keep the pressure on all game long with the ability to go on a few big runs if the Gator D starts to let down.
The Pick: Florida 85-73. The Gators will be in control throughout, but a late Demon run will keep it from being a blowout.
FINAL SCORE: Florida 79-47
No. 7 San Diego State (22-10) vs. No. 10 Oklahoma (20-11)
Line: San Diego State -2.5
Why To Pick San Diego State: The athleticism might be too much for OU to deal with. The Sooners aren’t exactly a thrill ride, pounding out games and relying on doing the little things right, but San Diego State has the ability to get on the run and rip off scoring runs without a problem. A spurt could change the game around fast.
Why To Pick Oklahoma: The Aztecs are aggressive on the boards, but do they have the muscle? Romero Osby and the Oklahoma front court should be able to slow things down just enough to keep this close. San Diego State does a great job of forcing mistakes and keeping the pressure on, but OU doesn’t screw up.
The Pick: San Diego State 72-64. The guards of the Aztecs will be the difference. San Diego State will be the aggressor, and it’ll show by controlling the game throughout.
FINAL SCORE: San Diego State 70-55
No. 2 Georgetown (25-6) vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast (24-10)
Line: Georgetown -13
Why To Pick Georgetown: It’s not a fancy team, but it’s a maddening one that runs its cutting offense almost perfectly. It takes an extremely disciplined team to hang around with the Hoyas, and that’s not really Florida Gulf Coast’s style. There’s almost no interior presence to keep Georgetown from scoring at will.
Why To Pick Florida Gulf Coast: The Eagles manage to get by with their smallish lineup by always attacking the boards from all positions. They might get bullied on second chance points, but they’ll attack and should be able to outhustle the Hoyas. The athleticism is there to pull off the upset.
The Pick: Georgetown 57-45. The game won’t get out of hand because the temp will be so slow, but Georgetown will always be in control.
FINAL SCORE: Florida Gulf Coast 78-68
NCAA Tourney Picks East