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2013 NCAA Tournament: South bracket

Best round of 64 matchup

No. 6 UCLA (25-9) vs. No. 11 Minnesota (20-12). The Uclan have two outstanding guards in freshman Shabazz Muhammad and Larry Drew. The Gophers slumped after a 15-1 start, but have beaten Indiana and Wisconsin in the last month.

Best potential round of 32 matchup

No. 1 Kansas (29-5) vs. No. 8 North Carolina (24-10). Roy Williams is 0-2 against Bill Self and the ­Jayhawks since Williams left Kansas in 2003. The Tar Heels have won eight of their last 10, losing only to Duke and Miami.

Best Cinderella hope

Under former Illinois coach Lon Kruger, No. 10 ­Oklahoma (20-11) has a knack for playing better teams extremely tough.

Player to watch

Sophomore guard Trey Burke carried No. 4 Michigan (26-7) all season and was named the Big Ten’s player of the year.

Impact coach

Bill Self of No. 1 Kansas has a national title and a runner-up finish on his KU resume, but Shaka Smart of No. 5 Virginia Commonwealth (26-8) does more with less — including a victory over Self and top-seeded Kansas to reach the Final Four in 2011.

Prediction

No. 2 Georgetown (25-6) is tested tough and has a manageable path to the Final Four.

- CAPSULES BY ASSOCIATED PRESS

1. Kansas

Record: 29-5.

Coach: Bill Self.

Bid: Big 12 champion.

Nine consecutive Big 12 titles, a Final Four team a year ago, playing as a No. 1 seed near home at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Have to like the Jayhawks’ chances of going far.

2. Georgetown

Record: 25-6.

Coach: John Thompson III.

Bid: At large.

Georgetown is one of seven basketball-focused Catholic schools splitting off from the conference to create their own league, which will begin play next season and keep the Big East name.

3. Florida

Record: 26-7.

Coach: Billy Donovan.

Bid: At large.

Great guards, solid frontcourt, one of the best defensive teams in the country. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the Gators made the short trip to Atlanta.

4. Michigan

Record: 26-7.

Coach: John Beilein.

Bid: At large.

A top-10 team for a good chunk of the season, the Wolverines struggled down the stretch. But with Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III, they’re going to be a handful for whomever they face.

5. Virginia Commonwealth

Record: 26-8.

Coach: Shaka Smart.

Bid: At large.

Smart and the Rams were a surprise Final Four team two years ago. Could another mid-major run be in the works for the Atlantic-10 regular-season champs?

6. UCLA

Record: 25-9.

Coach: Ben Howland.

Bid: At large.

The Bruins won the Pac-12 regular-season title, but fell short in the tournament title game after freshman Jordan Adams broke his right foot. UCLA will have to retool its offense.

7. San Diego State

Record: 22-10. Coach:

Steve Fisher.

Bid: At large.

Fisher knows a thing or two about coaching, which could be good enough for a win or two in the ­tournament.

8. North Carolina

Record: 24-10.

Coach: Roy ­Williams.

Bid: At large.

Reaching the ACC final did the Tar Heels a world of good, even if they lost to Miami. Williams one ­victory away from 700.

9. Villanova

Record: 20-13.

Coach: Jay Wright.

Bid: At large.

Average record during Big East season and a loss in tournament quarterfinals were outweighed by strong schedule and solid RPI.

10. Oklahoma

Record: 20-11.

Coach: Lon Kruger.

Bid: At large.

Sooners have rebounded this season to make the bracket for the first time since Blake Griffin took them there 2009.

11. Minnesota

Record: 20-12

Coach: Tubby Smith.

Bid: At large.

Gophers are athletic enough to knock off UCLA in the opening round — and keep going.

12. Akron

Record: 26-6.

Coach: Keith Dambrot.

Bid: MAC ­champion.

Zips are big and athletic and overcame the suspension of three-year starting point guard Alex Abreu to win the conference title. Dambrot faces one of his former assistants.

13. South Dakota State

Record: 25-9.

Coach: Scott Nagy.

Bid: Summit champion.

Jackrabbits qualified again after getting in for the first time a year ago. Summit League player of the year Nate Wolters was fourth nationally with 22.7 ppg.

14. Northwestern State

Record: 23-8.

Coach: Mike ­McConathy.

Bid: Southland champion.

The highest-scoring team in the country will be fun to watch and could ruin a few brackets.

15. Florida Gulf Coast

Record: 24-10.

Coach: Andy Enfield.

Bid: Atlantic Sun champion.

Atlantic Sun champs got into the field of 68 in second year of eligibility in D-I — pretty impressive after losing 82 games the previous four seasons as a transitional program.

16. Western Kentucky

Record: 20-15.

Coach: Ray Harper.

Bid: Sun Belt champion.

The Hilltoppers recovered from a rough stretch in the middle of the season by winning four games in four days to take the Sun Belt tourney title — for the second consecutive season.



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