Breaking the Basketball Bracket: A Guide to the South Region

The top half of the NCAA tournament's South bracket seems ripe for a few upsets that should give hope to underdogs and help in office pools.

Pitt is led by a senior, NBA-bound PG in Lamar Patterson (19th best Value Add player). Colorado star Spencer Dinwiddie was close to him in the rankings when he was injured in January, but though Colorado played well without him Pitt should pull the upset. Tulsa has improved from 118 to 68 in Value Add in a month to be one of the best teams in the country and have a real chance to beat VCU.

Home Advantage: UCLA had to travel to Philadelphia a few years ago to lose to VCU in a tournament game, so even if VCU’s havoc shuts down Tulsa look for the Bruins to have the edge against VCU in San Diego.

The following are the Value Add Rankings for each player in the top 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 Albany (16-seed), Colorado (8), Florida (1), Mount St. Mary’s (16), Pittsburgh (9), Stephen F. Austin (12), Tulsa (13), UCLA (4) and VCU (5).

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.

Top South Bracket Players (teams in order they appear in bracket):
Rnk Player Seed Team Ht Yr NBA/g Off Total
692 Peter Hooley 16 Albany 6' 4" So g 2.57 1.28
1278 Gary Johnson 16 Albany 6' 6" Sr   0.98 0.49
1547 Dallas Ennema 16 Albany 6' 6" Fr   0.63 0.32
1667 Sam Rowley 16 Albany 6' 6" Jr   0.00 0.26
1879 DJ Evans 16 Albany 5' 9" Sr g 0.32 0.16
1974 Anders Haas 16 Albany 6' 1" So   0.10 0.12
2201 Luke Devlin 16 Albany 6' 8" Sr   0.08 0.04
2320 Levan Shengelia 16 Albany 6' 9" Jr   0.00 0.00
  Dave Wiegmann 16 Albany 6' 8" Sr   0.00 0.00
  John Puk 16 Albany 6' 10" Sr   0.00 0.00
  Michael Rowley 16 Albany 6' 8" Fr   0.00 0.00
440 Julian Norfleet 16 Mt. St. Mary's 6' 2" Sr g 2.66 1.91
811 Rashad Whack 16 Mt. St. Mary's 6' 3" Sr   1.80 1.07
999 Taylor Danaher 16 Mt. St. Mary's 7' 0 So   1.52 0.76
1251 Gregory Graves 16 Mt. St. Mary's 6' 7" So   1.03 0.51
1383 Will Miller 16 Mt. St. Mary's 6' 6" Fr   0.82 0.41
1401 Byron Ashe 16 Mt. St. Mary's 6' 0 Fr   0.80 0.40
1582 Sam Prescott 16 Mt. St. Mary's 6' 3" Sr   0.60 0.30
  Khalid Nwandu 16 Mt. St. Mary's 6' 3" Fr   0.00 0.00
30 Michael Frazier 1 Florida 6' 4" So   4.37 5.54
80 Casey Prather 1 Florida 6' 6" Sr   3.61 4.28
86 Patric Young 1 Florida 6' 9" Sr C 2.87 4.22
167 Scottie Wilbekin 1 Florida 6' 2" Sr   2.78 3.38
421 Dorian Finney-Smith 1 Florida 6' 8" So   1.33 1.97
452 Will Yeguete 1 Florida 6' 8" Sr   0.49 1.88
473 Kasey Hill 1 Florida 6' 1" Fr PG 0.19 1.81
1391 Jacob Kurtz 1 Florida 6' 6" Jr   0.33 0.40
1630 DeVon Walker 1 Florida 6' 6" So   0.07 0.28
52 Josh Scott 8 Colorado 6' 10" So   4.26 4.85
120 Spencer Dinwiddie 8 Colorado 6' 6" Jr SG 2.99 3.84
585 Askia Booker 8 Colorado 6' 2" Jr g 1.09 1.47
707 Xavier Johnson 8 Colorado 6' 7" So   1.58 1.25
1457 Wesley Gordon 8 Colorado 6' 9" Fr   0.32 0.37
1812 Jaron Hopkins 8 Colorado 6' 5" Fr   0.00 0.19
1904 George King 8 Colorado 6' 5" Fr   0.00 0.15
1956 Xavier Talton 8 Colorado 6' 2" So   0.25 0.13
2223 Tre'Shaun Fletcher 8 Colorado 6' 7" Fr   0.07 0.03
  Dustin Thomas 8 Colorado 6' 7" Fr   0.00 0.00
  Eli Stalzer 8 Colorado 6' 3" So   0.00 0.00
19 Lamar Patterson 9 Pittsburgh 6' 5" Sr PG 4.48 5.91
89 Talib Zanna 9 Pittsburgh 6' 9" Jr   3.66 4.17
195 James Robinson 9 Pittsburgh 6' 3" So   3.25 3.20
364 Cameron Wright 9 Pittsburgh 6' 4" Jr   1.65 2.16
680 Durand Johnson 9 Pittsburgh 6' 6" So   1.23 1.30
870 Michael Young 9 Pittsburgh 6' 8" Fr   1.36 0.95
1080 Josh Newkirk 9 Pittsburgh 6' 1" Fr g 0.76 0.68
1196 Derrick Randall 9 Pittsburgh 6' 9" Jr   0.31 0.56
1404 Jamel Artis 9 Pittsburgh 6' 7" Fr   0.80 0.40
1823 Chris Jones 9 Pittsburgh 6' 6" Fr   0.38 0.19
51 Jacob Parker 12 Stephen F. Austin 6' 6" Jr   3.94 4.89
169 Nikola Gajic 12 Stephen F. Austin 6' 5" Sr   1.97 3.36
232 Thomas Walkup 12 Stephen F. Austin 6' 4" So g 2.99 2.95
787 Desmond Haymon 12 Stephen F. Austin 6' 3" Sr   2.17 1.10
859 Deshaunt Walker 12 Stephen F. Austin 6' 0 Sr   1.96 0.98
1043 Tanner Clayton 12 Stephen F. Austin 6' 9" Jr   0.33 0.72
2217 Connor Brooks 12 Stephen F. Austin 6' 4" Jr   0.07 0.04
  Dallas Cameron 12 Stephen F. Austin 6' 3" Fr   0.00 0.00
  Trey Pinkney 12 Stephen F. Austin 5' 9" So   0.00 0.00
14 Briante Weber 5 VCU 6' 2" Jr PG 1.85 6.33
94 Juvonte Reddic 5 VCU 6' 9" Sr PF 1.60 4.14
132 Treveon Graham 5 VCU 6' 6" Jr   2.77 3.76
330 Rob Brandenberg 5 VCU 6' 2" Sr   1.90 2.34
570 Mo Alie-Cox 5 VCU 6' 6" Fr   0.83 1.50
740 JeQuan Lewis 5 VCU 6' 1" Fr   0.28 1.20
872 Melvin Johnson 5 VCU 6' 3" So   1.00 0.95
1072 Terrance Shannon 5 VCU 6' 8" Sr   0.00 0.68
1430 Jarred Guest 5 VCU 6' 8" Jr   0.00 0.38
1651 Jordan Burgess 5 VCU 6' 5" Fr   0.00 0.27
149 James Woodard 13 Tulsa 6' 3" So   3.73 3.60
444 Shaquille Harrison 13 Tulsa 6' 3" So g 0.44 1.90
547 Rashad Ray 13 Tulsa 5' 11" So   1.15 1.56
580 Rashad Smith 13 Tulsa 6' 7" So   1.39 1.47
733 Tim Peete 13 Tulsa 6' 4" Sr   0.45 1.21
1123 Brandon Swannegan 13 Tulsa 6' 8" So   0.13 0.64
1882 Stevie Repichowski 13 Tulsa 6' 5" Fr   0.32 0.16
  D'Andre Wright 13 Tulsa 6' 9" So   0.00 0.00
  Patrick Swilling 13 Tulsa 6' 3" Sr   0.00 0.00
7 Jordan Adams 4 UCLA 6' 5" So SG 4.70 7.04
24 Kyle Anderson 4 UCLA 6' 9" So SF 3.45 5.61
303 Norman Powell 4 UCLA 6' 4" Jr   2.93 2.51
546 Zach LaVine 4 UCLA 6' 5" Fr PG/SG 1.93 1.57
586 Travis Wear 4 UCLA 6' 10" Sr   2.17 1.47
915 Bryce Alford 4 UCLA 6' 3" Fr   1.64 0.88
990 David Wear 4 UCLA 6' 10" Sr   1.53 0.77
1015 Tony Parker 4 UCLA 6' 9" So   0.98 0.75

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