Breaking the Basketball Bracket: A Guide to the South Region, II

The NCAA's South region offers several potential upsets. But because of a key injury, fans need may not know until tip-off--long after the brackets have been filled out--who to pick.

Ohio State is led by three upper-classmen guards who are likely to go to the NBA, and that gives them the edge for the upset against Syracuse in the second game despite the tough venue of Buffalo. If Joel Embiid is not on the court, New Mexico has a chance at a real shocker over Kansas in the second round. The Lobos have two of the top 30 players in the country including a senior guard.

Home Advantage: Kansas is one of the toughest decisions in the tournament because they could lose to New Mexico if Embiid is not playing. But if he is 100% they can certainly beat Florida in the Elite 8 game played in Memphis. It’s just a few hours closer to Kansas campus, but the Jayhawks would likely have a big edge in the stands.

The following are the Value Add Rankings for each player in the bottom half of the South Region, their team’s seed, height, year in school and which players are NBA prospects (all caps) as well as which of the other players are guards (small “g”). The teams are Dayton (11-seed), Eastern Kentucky (15), Kansas (2), New Mexico (7), Ohio St. (6), Stanford (10), Syracuse (3) and Western Michigan (14).

The items listed for the top few players on each team should be the biggest considerations along with injured players, the home advantage, and which team enters the tournament hot (which we define as improving the most at www.kenpom.com over the past month of the season). The system is a precise measurement of how many points a player adds to his team's score per game over the player who takes his place. Every score (three-pointer, two-pointer or foul shot), assist, offensive rebound, foul drawn, etc. helps a team score while every turnover and missed shot costs the team points. On defense, every steal, blocked shot, defensive rebound, turnover forced, and opponent's missed shot takes points off the board while every basket or offensive rebound allowed adds to the opponent's score. The player's offensive and defensive combination calculates together with the help of the stats at www.kenpom.com. How many points a player adds to his team’s score appears in the offensive category (shown as "off" in the table below), and his overall impact on points once defense is factored appears as “Total” on the table.

Bottom South Bracket Players (teams in order they appear on bracket):
Rnk Player Seed Team Ht Yr NBA/g Off Total
97 Devin Oliver 11 Dayton 6' 7" Sr   4.12 4.13
327 Jordan Sibert 11 Dayton 6' 4" Jr   3.28 2.35
560 Dyshawn Pierre 11 Dayton 6' 6" So   2.51 1.53
640 Vee Sanford 11 Dayton 6' 4" Sr g 1.29 1.36
907 Khari Price 11 Dayton 5' 11" So   1.79 0.90
1348 Matt Kavanaugh 11 Dayton 6' 10" Sr   0.87 0.43
1641 Kyle Davis 11 Dayton 6' 0 Fr   0.08 0.27
2285 Jalen Robinson 11 Dayton 6' 9" So   0.02 0.01
  Devon Scott 11 Dayton 6' 9" So   0.00 0.00
  Kendall Pollard 11 Dayton 6' 6" Fr   0.00 0.00
  Scoochie Smith 11 Dayton 6' 2" Fr   0.00 0.00
62 Aaron Craft 6 Ohio St. 6' 2" Sr PG 1.37 4.71
107 LaQuinton Ross 6 Ohio St. 6' 8" Jr SG/SF 2.46 3.98
151 Shannon Scott 6 Ohio St. 6' 1" Jr PG 0.84 3.59
185 Lenzelle Smith 6 Ohio St. 6' 4" Sr   2.53 3.22
228 Amir Williams 6 Ohio St. 6' 11" Jr   1.69 2.96
763 Sam Thompson 6 Ohio St. 6' 7" Jr   0.81 1.15
1481 Marc Loving 6 Ohio St. 6' 7" Fr   0.32 0.35
2294 Amedeo Della Valle 6 Ohio St. 6' 5" So   0.00 0.01
  Trey McDonald 6 Ohio St. 6' 8" Jr   0.00 0.00
31 Tyler Ennis 3 Syracuse 6' 2" Fr PG 3.67 5.54
74 Trevor Cooney 3 Syracuse 6' 4" So   3.82 4.41
112 Jerami Grant 3 Syracuse 6' 8" So SF 3.14 3.91
165 Rakeem Christmas 3 Syracuse 6' 9" Jr   2.42 3.40
465 CJ Fair 3 Syracuse 6' 8" Sr SF/PF 0.82 1.83
766 Michael Gbinije 3 Syracuse 6' 7" So   0.79 1.15
899 DaJuan Coleman 3 Syracuse 6' 9" So C 0.37 0.91
1085 Baye Keita 3 Syracuse 6' 10" Sr   0.33 0.67
2089 Tyler Roberson 3 Syracuse 6' 8" Fr   0.00 0.08
148 Shayne Whittington 14 Western Michigan 6' 11" Sr   2.52 3.61
495 David Brown 14 Western Michigan 6' 3" Sr   1.95 1.73
602 Connar Tava 14 Western Michigan 6' 5" So   0.79 1.43
974 Austin Richie 14 Western Michigan 6' 2" Jr g 1.60 0.80
1699 Kellen McCormick 14 Western Michigan 6' 8" Fr   0.48 0.24
  AJ Avery 14 Western Michigan 6' 6" So   0.00 0.00
  Jared Klein 14 Western Michigan 6' 1" So   0.00 0.00
  Taylor Perry 14 Western Michigan 6' 4" So   0.00 0.00
  Tucker Haymond 14 Western Michigan 6' 5" Fr   0.00 0.00
26 Cameron Bairstow 7 New Mexico 6' 9" Sr   5.18 5.59
29 Kendall Williams 7 New Mexico 6' 4" Sr g 5.02 5.54
256 Alex Kirk 7 New Mexico 7' 0 Jr   1.47 2.81
401 Hugh Greenwood 7 New Mexico 6' 3" Jr   1.82 2.05
475 Deshawn Delaney 7 New Mexico 6' 5" Jr   1.51 1.80
1531 Cleveland Thomas 7 New Mexico 6' 3" So   0.64 0.32
2111 Obij Aget 7 New Mexico 7' 1" Fr   0.14 0.07
  Cullen Neal 7 New Mexico 6' 4" Fr g 0.00 0.00
  Nick Banyard 7 New Mexico 6' 8" So   0.00 0.00
137 Chasson Randle 10 Stanford 6' 2" Jr g 4.49 3.70
274 Dwight Powell 10 Stanford 6' 10" Sr PF/C 1.58 2.68
295 Josh Huestis 10 Stanford 6' 7" Sr   2.21 2.55
311 Anthony Brown 10 Stanford 6' 6" Jr   3.25 2.45
1040 Stefan Nastic 10 Stanford 6' 11" Jr   1.29 0.72
1062 Aaron Bright 10 Stanford 5' 11" Sr g 0.29 0.70
1334 John Gage 10 Stanford 6' 10" Sr   0.63 0.45
2033 Robbie Lemons 10 Stanford 6' 3" Sr   0.19 0.10
2046 Marcus Allen 10 Stanford 6' 3" Fr   0.00 0.09
2324 Grant Verhoeven 10 Stanford 6' 9" So   0.00 0.00
234 Corey Walden 15 Eastern Kentucky 6' 2" Jr   2.52 2.93
357 Glenn Cosey 15 Eastern Kentucky 6' 0 Sr g 3.72 2.19
484 Eric Stutz 15 Eastern Kentucky 6' 8" Jr   2.27 1.76
935 Tarius Johnson 15 Eastern Kentucky 6' 5" Sr   1.71 0.85
1452 Orlando Williams 15 Eastern Kentucky 6' 4" Sr   0.74 0.37
1633 Isaac McGlone 15 Eastern Kentucky 6' 2" Fr   0.55 0.27
1659 Jeff Johnson 15 Eastern Kentucky 6' 7" Sr   0.52 0.26
1820 Marcus Lewis 15 Eastern Kentucky 6' 4" Sr   0.38 0.19
  Timmy Knipp 15 Eastern Kentucky 6' 7" Jr   0.00 0.00
32 Perry Ellis 2 Kansas 6' 8" So SF 4.79 5.51
54 Joel Embiid 2 Kansas 7' 0 Fr C 2.24 4.84
58 Andrew Wiggins 2 Kansas 6' 8" Fr SF 4.17 4.76
387 Tarik Black 2 Kansas 6' 9" Sr PF/C 1.33 2.09
489 Naadir Tharpe 2 Kansas 5' 11" Jr   2.78 1.75
550 Jamari Traylor 2 Kansas 6' 8" So   1.19 1.55
676 Wayne Selden 2 Kansas 6' 5" Fr SG/SF 1.72 1.30
995 Frank Mason 2 Kansas 5' 11" Fr   1.05 0.76
1576 Conner Frankamp 2 Kansas 6' 0 Fr   0.20 0.30
1940 Christien Sager 2 Kansas 6' 4" Jr   0.27 0.14
2002 Brannen Greene 2 Kansas 6' 7" Fr   0.18 0.11

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