suntimes
SPRIGHTLY 
Weather Updates

South Region: Matchups, schedule

=bc0=

=bc0=

storyidforme: 63605668
tmspicid: 17171770
fileheaderid: 7740086

Florida, the top overall seed, is the team to beat with a cozy backyard venue in Orlando to open its quest. Good challengers await, but the Gators’ 26-game winning streak has them battle-tested.

THE TOP FIVE

1. Coaching kingpins: Florida’s Billy Donovan, Kansas’ Bill Self and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim each have won NCAA championships.

2. They’re back: Stanford returns to the tournament for the first time since 2008. The Cardinal and UCLA — under first-year coach Steve Alford — are two of the Pac-12 teams heading South.

3. Streaking: Florida brings a 26-game streak to the tournament, but No. 12 seed Stephen F. Austin hasn’t lost since Nov. 23. The Lumberjacks’ streak is at 28 — and their 31-2 record equals the Gators’.

4. We finally meet: No. 11 Dayton gets the chance to take on in-state big brother No. 6 Ohio State on a neutral floor.

5. ’Ello Mate: New Mexico senior forward Cameron Bairstow from Australia had 21 games scoring 20 or more points.

PEAKING

Western Michigan won the MAC regular-season title and MAC tournament, and it shouldn’t be intimidated playing in Syracuse’s “backyard’’ of Buffalo, N.Y. After all, Buffalo is in the MAC.

REEKING

Things didn’t end well for Syracuse in its first season in the ACC. The Orange lost four of its last six games.

THREE-POINTERS

1. VCU has been the NCAA’s Cinderella favorite in recent years, but Stephen F. Austin could supplant the Rams in the dangerous 5-12 matchup.

2. Tulsa returns to the tournament for the first time since 2003. Too bad the Golden Hurricane has to travel to UCLA’s backyard (San Diego) for the game.

3. Andrew Wiggins takes center stage for Kansas — but will the stellar freshman be playing in his only NCAA tournament?

PREDICTION

Florida.

1. Florida

Site/record: Gainesville, 32-2.

Nickname: Gators.

Coach: Billy Donovan.

Conference: Southeastern.

Bid: SEC champion.

Tournament record: 38-16, 18 years.

Last appearance: 2013.

Scoring: Team (71.0); Casey Prather 14.3; Scottie Wilbekin 13.0; Michael Frazier II 12.8; Patric Young 11.0; Dorian Finney-Smith 9.1.

Rebounds: Team (35.6); Dorian Finney-Smith 6.8; Patric Young 6.2; Will Yeguete 5.2; Casey Prather 5.0.

Last 10: 10-0.

16. Albany (N.Y.)

Site/record: Albany, N.Y., 18-14.

Nickname: Great Danes.

Coach: Will Brown.

Conference: America East.

Bid: America East champion.

Tournament record: 0-3, 3 years. Last NCAA Appearance: 2013.

Last 10: 7-3.

16. Mt. St. Mary’s

Site/record: Emmitsburg, Md., 16-16.

Nickname: Mountaineers.

Coach: Jamion Christian.

Conference: Northeast.

Bid: NEC champion.

Tournament record: 1-3, 3 years. Last appearance: 2008.

Last 10: 6-4.

6. Ohio State

Site/record: Columbus, 25-9.

Nickname: Buckeyes.

Coach: Thad Matta.

Conference: Big Ten.

Bid: At-large.

Tournament Record: 54-28, 29 years.

Last appearance: 2013.

Scoring: Team (69.8); LaQuinton Ross 15.4; Lenzelle Smith Jr. 11.1; Aaron Craft 9.6.

Rebounds: Team (34.1); LaQuinton Ross 6.1; Amir Williams 5.8; Lenzelle Smith Jr. 5.1.

Last 10: 6-4.

11. Dayton

Site/record: Dayton, Ohio, 23-10.

Nickname: Flyers.

Coach: Archie Miller.

Conference: Atlantic 10.

Bid: At-large.

Tournament Record: 14-16, 14 years.

Last appearance: 2009.

Scoring: Team (73.4); Jordan Sibert 12.5; Devin Oliver 12.1; Dyshawn Pierre 11.1; Vee Sanford 9.9.

Rebounds: Team (35.3); Devin Oliver 7.5; Dyshawn Pierre 5.6.

Last 10: 8-2.

5. VCU

Site/record: Richmond, Va., 26-8.

Nickname: Rams.

Coach: Shaka Smart.

Conference: Atlantic 10.

Bid: At-large.

Tournament record: 12-12, 12 years.

Last appearance: 2012.

Scoring: Team (75.0); Treveon Graham 15.7; Juvonte Reddic 11.9; Melvin Johnson 10.4; Rob Brandenberg 9.8; Briante Weber 9.5.

Rebounds: Team (37.9); Juvonte Reddic 8.4; Treveon Graham 7.0; Briante Weber 4.0.

Last 10: 7-3.

12. Stephen F. Austin

Site/record: Nacogdoches, Texas, 31-2.

Nickname: Lumberjacks.

Coach: Brad Underwood.

Conference: Southland.

Bid: Southland champion.

Tournament record: 0-1, 1 year.

Last NCAA Appearance: 2009.

Scoring: Team (76.5); Desmond Haymon 14.3; Jacob Parker 14.2; Thomas Walkup 12.9; Deshaunt Walker 12.0; Nikola Gajic 9.6.

Rebounds: Team (33.8); Jacob Parker 7.1; Thomas Walkup 5.0; Nikola Gajic 4.9.

Last 10: 10-0.

7. New Mexico

Site/record: Albuquerque, 27-6.

Nickname: Lobos.

Coach: Craig Neal.

Conference: Mountain West.

Bid: MWC champion.

Tournament record: 8-15, 14 years.

Last appearance: 2013.

Scoring: Team (74.6); Cameron Bairstow 20.3; Kendall Williams 16.4; Alex Kirk 13.6.

Rebounds: Team (38.2); Alex Kirk 8.7; Cameron Bairstow 7.4; Hugh Greenwood 5.1; Deshawn Delaney 4.0.

Last 10: 9-1.

10. Stanford

Site/record: Stanford, Calif., 21-12.

Nickname: Cardinal.

Coach: Johnny Dawkins.

Conference: Pac-12

Bid: At-large.

Tournament record: 21-15, 16 years.

Last appearance: 2008.

Scoring: Team (73.5); Chasson Randle 18.7; Dwight Powell 14.2; Anthony Brown 12.7; Josh Huestis 11.4.

Rebounds: Team (34.8); Josh Huestis 8.3; Dwight Powell 6.9; Anthony Brown 5.0.

Last 10: 6-4.

8. Colorado

Site/record: Boulder, 23-11.

Nickname: Buffaloes.

Coach: Tad Boyle.

Conference: Pac-12.

Bid: At-large.

Tournament record: 10-14, 14 years.

Last appearance: 2013.

Scoring: Team (70.9); Josh Scott 14.1; Askia Booker 14.0; Xavier Johnson 12.0.

Rebounds: Team (37.5); Josh Scott 8.5; Wesley Gordon 6.1; Xavier Johnson 5.9.

Last 10: 5-5.

9. Pittsburgh

Site/record: Pittsburgh, 25-9.

Nickname: Panthers.

Coach: Jamie Dixon.

Conference: Atlantic Coast.

Bid: At-large.

Tournament record: 23-25, 24 years.

Last appearance: 2013.

Scoring: Team (72.5); Lamar Patterson 17.6; Talib Zanna 12.9; Cameron Wright 10.6.

Rebounds: Team (36.1); Talib Zanna 8.8; Lamar Patterson 4.8; Michael Young 4.2.

Last 10: 5-5.

3. Syracuse

Site/record: Syracuse, N.Y., 27-5.

Nickname: Orange.

Coach: Jim Boeheim.

Conference: Atlantic Coast.

Bid: At-large.

Tournament record: 60-36, 36 years.

Last appearance: 2013.

Scoring: Team (68.3); C.J. Fair 16.7; Tyler Ennis 12.7; Trevor Cooney 12.2; Jerami Grant 12.2.

Rebounds: Team (35.2); Jerami Grant 6.9; C.J. Fair 6.2; Rakeem Christmas 5.0; DaJuan Coleman 4.2.

Last 10: 5-5.

14. Western Michigan

Site/record: Kalamazoo, 23-9.

Nickname: Broncos.

Coach: Steve Hawkins.

Conference: Mid-American.

Bid: MAC champion.

Tournament record: 2-3, 3 years.

Last appearance: 2004.

Scoring: Team (72.5); David Brown 19.4; Shayne Whittington 16.3; Connar Tava 12.0.

Rebounds: Team (34.9); Shayne Whittington 9.1; Connar Tava 5.8.

Last 10: 9-1.

4. UCLA

Site/record: Los Angeles, 26-8.

Nickname: Bruins.

Coach: Steve Alford.

Conference: Pac-12.

Bid: Pac-12 champion.

Tournament record: 100-38, 45 years.

Last appearance: 2013.

Scoring: Team (81.8); Jordan Adams 17.2; Kyle Anderson 14.9; Zach LaVine 11.3; Norman Powell 10.0.

Rebounds: Team (35.6); Kyle Anderson 8.8; Jordan Adams 5.3; Tony Parker 4.5.

Last 10: 7-3.

13. Tulsa

Site/record: Tulsa, Okla., 21-12.

Nickname: Golden Hurricane.

Coach: Danny Manning.

Conference: Conference USA.

Bid: C-USA champion.

Tournament record: 12-14, 14 years.

Last appearance: 2003.

Scoring: Team (73.1); James Woodard 15.7; Rashad Smith 12.1; Shaquille Harrison 9.8.

Rebounds: Team (36.3); James Woodard 5.8; Rashad Smith 4.9; Lew Evans 4.1; D’Andre Wright 4.0.

Last 10: 10-0.

2. Kansas

Site/record: Lawrence, 24-9.

Nickname: Jayhawks.

Coach: Bill Self.

Conference: Big 12.

Bid: At-large.

Tournament record: 95-41, 42 years.

Last appearance: 2013.

Scoring: Team (79.6); Andrew Wiggins 17.4; Perry Ellis 13.6; Joe Embiid 11.2; Wayne Selden Jr. 10.2.

Rebounds: Team (38.1); Joe Embiid 8.1; Perry Ellis 6.5; Andrew Wiggins 6.0.

Last 10: 6-4.

15. Eastern Kentucky

Site/record: Richmond, 24-9.

Nickname: Colonels.

Coach: Jeff Neubauer.

Conference: Ohio Valley.

Bid: OVC champion.

Tournament record: 0-7, 7 years.

Last appearance: 2007.

Scoring: Team (79.0); Glenn Cosey 18.8; Corey Walden 14.1; Marcus Lewis 9.9; Orlando Williams 9.6; Tarius Johnson 9.5.

Rebounds: Team (26.2); Eric Stutz 4.7; Corey Walden 4.2; Trius Johnson 3.6.

Last 10: 8-2.

SOUTH REGION

1. Florida vs. 16. Albany/Mt. St. Mary’s

3:10 p.m. Thursday in Orlando, Fla. (TBS)

8. Colorado vs. 9. Pittsburgh

12:40 p.m. Thursday in Orlando, Fla. (TBS)

5. VCU vs. 12. Stephen f. Austin

6:27 p.m. Friday in San Diego (truTV)

4. UCLA vs. 13. TULSA

8:57 p.m. Friday in San Diego (truTV)

6. Ohio State vs. 11. Dayton

11:15 a.m. Thursday in Buffalo, N.Y. (Ch. 2)

3. Syracuse vs. 14. Western Michigan

1:45 p.m. Thursday in Buffalo, N.Y. (Ch. 2)

7. New Mexico vs. 10. Stanford

12:40 p.m. Friday in St. Louis (TBS)

2. Kansas vs. 15. Eastern Kentucky

3:10 p.m. Friday in St. Louis (TBS)



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.