Yup. I think the South will be tough for us at Longwood. Not looking past our opening game with Green Mountain, but we have a potential 2nd round matchup with Incarnate Word, a team with a legendary coach who beat us on our own home court this season! Talk about a rough matchup for a #1 seed!. Then there's CSU Chico as a #5 (we sqeaked by them early on), despite being a super-talented superclass squad with 12 Upperclassmen, and #2 Northeastern St. as another team that beat Longwood early on. Holy crap, is that Wisconsin-Parkside lurking as the 7th seed??? Wow, the South is pretty nasty. If we win the South, it probably means we got some revenge on some folks that gave us a lot of trouble this season.
The Midwest seems like the weakest bracket. St. Mary's biggest challenge might be #5 Belmont Abbey. There are also some much lower seeds with a good chance of making a decent run, but I REALLY like St. Mary's in this bracket.
The East looks straight scary. Hillsdale is a frightening #2 seed. They'd be a #1 if not for an inexplicable opening game loss to a SIM team. Their only other loss was in a very close one to St. Mary's. St. Ed's is a pretty strong #1 seed. Limestone won the last 2 titles, so overlooking them at #3 would be completely insane. #4 U. of the Sciences has been battle tested, and #5 Bellarmine is still coached by greenhawks (AKA alblack), which makes them extremely dangerous. Concord is a #6 seed with a 8 RPI, which is ridiculous. #8 Harding has Hackerhog as a coach, so they're OK. #11 San Fransisco St. is extremely athletic for a double-digit seed. Their first-round matchup w/ run-and-gun Concord should be one of the most exciting early games of the tourney.
The West seems like the region with the most parity from #1 to #16, though not the strongest. Pfieffer is a very strong squad sitting at #1, with their defense being phenomenal. #2 OPSU just beat St. Mary's in an OT thriller, so they're no joke. I really like Ouachita Baptist to make a run in their half of this region.
Sweet 16 Predictions (picking some upsets here).
South - #1 Longwood, #5 CSU Chico, #3 N. Alabama, #7 Parkside (though I have lots of respect for Northeastern St. as well).
Midwest - #1 St. Mary's, #5 Belmont Abbey, #11 Anderson (a hidden superclass), #7 Drury
East - #1 St. Eds, #5 Bellarmine, #3 Limestone, #2 Hillsdale
West - #1 Pfieffer, #4 Valdosta St., #6 Oauchita Baptist, #2 OPSU
Final 8 - Longwood v. Parkside,
St. Mary's v. Drury
Bellarmine v. Hillsdale,
Pfieffer v. Ouachita Baptist.
Final Four Predictions - Longwood, St. Mary's, Hillsdale, Pfieffer