2014 March Madness: South Region Predictions

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Sep 14, 2013; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange mascot Otto the Orange enters the field prior to the game against the Wagner Seahawks at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse defeated Wagner 54-0. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 14, 2013; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange mascot Otto the Orange enters the field prior to the game against the Wagner Seahawks at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse defeated Wagner 54-0. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Over the next few days we here at Skyway Shoutout will be previewing each region of the NCAA Tournament, providing predictions for each game with a bit of analysis sprinkled in the mix. This will culminate with a Final Four and National Champion prediction. For those of you who are desperate enough to use this analysis as your source of truth for filling out your bracket, we’ll offer up one stipulation. If, by any chance, you use our bracket predictions and analysis to win a pick ‘em pool, we’d ask that you please feel free to donate a portion of your winnings to our Adult Spring Break 2K14 slush fund (The plan is to attend the Masters). Or you can be selfish and slap the hand that feeds you. It’s totally up to you.

We covered the Midwest Region earlier, and next up is the South Region, with the winner traveling by way of Memphis, Tennessee on their quest for a National Championship in Dallas. There is a play-in game for the right to face the overall #1 seed Florida Gators, so we’ll start a preview of the Tuesday night action in Dayton.

 

PLAY-IN GAMES

(16) Albany Great Danes vs. (12) Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers

Mar 15, 2014; Stony Brook, NY, USA; Albany Great Danes forward Sam Rowley (14) takes a shot against Stony Brook Seawolves forward Jameel Warney (20) in the championship game of the America East college basketball tournament at Pritchard Gym. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, March 18 @ 6:40 p.m. on truTV

How They Got Here: Albany completed a great run through the America East conference tournament, upsetting top-seeded Vermont in the semifinals and defeating Stony Brook in the finals. The Great Danes finished the season with an 18-14 (9-7) record, earning their second straight trip to March Madness. Mount St. Mary’s earned the automatic bid out of the Northeast conference, crushing top seeded Robert Morris in the finals. That victory capped off a .500 season for The Mount, finishing with a 16-16 (9-7) record.

Analysis: First, let’s start with another edition of “Where The Hell Is That School?” Mount St. Mary’s doesn’t really lend itself to any context clues, and if you assumed the school was located in the mountains, given their name, you’d be completely wrong. The Mount is located in north central Maryland, just south of the Pennsylvania border in the town of Emmitsburg. The Mountaineers bring with them a legitimate offense, averaging 76.3 points per game. However their defense does nothing to help their situation, as they are allowing an average of 78 points per game, 334th in the nation. Nate Silver and Vegas both favor Albany (2.5 point favorites; 52% chance of advancing), but personally I will find it extremely hard to pull for a team with obnoxious uniforms. Phil Knight’s Fighting Ducks of Oregon is one thing, but the Great Danes sport some atrocious get ups. Albany wins at the expense of our eyes.

 

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