Sharpshooters and dangerous mids loom in South

Updated: March 12, 2007, 8:14 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Editor's note: We asked Andy Katz to analyze each region. Check out his West, East and Midwest region breakdowns.

1. Ohio State: Which teams are playing better than the Buckeyes? Very few. This squad has the look of a champion with Greg Oden using both hands. Wow. Look out now that Oden is ambidextrous.

2. Memphis: OK, coach John Calipari, your team got a 2-seed, but his time, the Tigers are playing closer to home. If Memphis is as good (if not better) as last season, let's see the Tigers in the Elite Eight again.

3. Texas A&M: The most clutch player in the field is Acie Law IV. If Law has a chance to win a game late for the Aggies, the opposing team had better find him on the floor. He's that good in those situations.

4. Virginia: Guards. Guards. Guards. This might be the most guard-dominated high-major. If the guards are on, then the Cavs have a chance to advance a few rounds.

AP Photo/Eric GayTexas A&M's Acie Law IV could be one of the stars of this year's NCAA Tournament.
5. Tennessee: Chris Lofton can shoot. But we'll have to see whether he gets enough help to get past Long Beach State in the first round. And can Bruce Pearl just paint himself orange instead of wearing the jacket on the sideline?

6. Louisville: Rick Pitino has all the pieces working together quite nicely. But the committee gave Pitino the toughest first- and possible second-round matchups of any 6-seed in the bracket.

7. Nevada: The question for the Wolf Pack is whether Kyle Shiloh will be healthy enough to play. Mark Fox said he thought Shiloh would be healthy last week. If Shiloh is, the Wolf Pack have the talent to get to the Sweet 16 behind Nick Fazekas and Ramon Sessions.

8. BYU: Dave Rose has done a phenomenal job coaching the Cougars to the top of the Mountain West. This team is well-schooled for tough environments. Now on a neutral floor, watch for how the Cougars handle the late-game situations with poise.

9. Xavier: The Musketeers might be the most overseeded team in the bracket. Xavier was more of a bubble team than a lock at a No. 9. Now it's time to prove the Musketeers belonged this high.

10. Creighton: The Blue Jays were the hot team in the Valley. But they still couldn't close out Drexel at home in BracketBusters. Now they've got their own BracketBusters situation against Nevada. Creighton shouldn't win this game if Nevada plays up to its potential.

11. Stanford: The Cardinal were one of the last teams in the field, but with Lawrence Hill (tailbone) expected to play and Anthony Goods back to stroking 3s -- along with the Lopez twins (Brook and Robin) -- this squad is the most dangerous 11-seed since George Mason to make a run to the Elite Eight.

12. Long Beach State: Poor Larry Reynolds. There is talk this could be it for him, yet he has the 49ers in the NCAAs after a solid Big West season and tourney title. The 49ers should give Tennessee fits in the first round.

13. Albany: The Great Danes had the best end-of-game situation of any final; they were patient and just sat back and watched Vermont implode with 30 seconds left. Albany had its celebration. Don't expect to see much more of that this week.

14. Penn: The Quakers got a bad draw. This Ivy League team will have to be quite tough to handle the Aggies. Texas A&M is on a mission, and the Aggies are not going to let Penn move them out of the way too early.

15. North Texas: The Mean Green better not run with Memphis. If they do, they'll be run out of the New Orleans Arena.

16. Central Connecticut State: The Blue Devils have great story lines, but no size to match with Oden.

Dream matchup: Ohio State-Stanford. I just want to see Oden go against Brook Lopez. I don't see Stanford getting to the Elite Eight, but I'd love to see the one-on-one matchup.

You'll love watching: Javier Mojica of CCSU if he can get off some shots against the Buckeyes; Lofton stroking 3s; the Lopez twins; Fazekas' versatility; and any late-game situation with Law.

Pressure's on: The Buckeyes to get to the Final Four since Oden might jettison for the NBA after the season; Xavier and Virginia to defend their high seeds; and Calipari to advance to the Elite Eight again.

The game that could get juicy on the sideline: The possible Sweet 16 matchup of Memphis-Louisville, since John Calipari and Rick Pitino aren't chums. Pitino chose not to play Memphis once Louisville went to the Big East, which definitely peeved Calipari.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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