March Madness 2022 – South Region Preview & Picks

South Region preview and betting locks.

South Region Storylines

  • The South is loaded and features Pac-12 champs Arizona, Big East champs Villanova and SEC champs Tennessee who are the top three seeds respectively and all seem to be peaking at the right time
  • Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan had disappointing conference finishes but are experienced B1G teams who won’t be easy outs
  • American Conference champion Houston, TCU and Seton Hall are all streaky teams with scary defenses, a quality that bodes well this time of year
  • Some mid-majors like Loyola Chicago, UAB, Longwood and Chattanooga are higher seeds that could be dangerous underdogs

South Region Schedule & Winners

No. 1 Arizona vs No. 16 Bryant/Wright State (Friday, 7:27pm, truTV)

  • The Wildcats are young but perhaps the most talented team in the country led by electrifying Pac-12 Player of the Year G Bennedict Mathurin and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year C Christian Kolok – but starting PG Ker Kriisa sprained his ankle in the Pac-12 tournament and would be a huge loss if he can’t get healthy
  • Winner: Arizona

No. 2 Villanova vs No. 15 Delaware (Friday, 2:45pm, CBS)

  • Nova enters the dance having won 10 of their last 11 games led by Co-Big East player of the year and fifth-year Collin Gillespie and they are one of the best free-throw shooting teams in the country with four of their top six players in the rotation shooting at least 83%
  • The Blue Hens have experience and tremendous offensive potential with five different players having multiple 20-point games this year, three of them being fifth-years – don’t count out the Colonial champs
  • Winner: Villanova

No. 3 Tennessee vs No. 14 Longwood (Thursday, 2:45pm, CBS)

  • Many believe the Vols were robbed of a two seed after losing just one game since the beginning of February thanks to their relentless defense and elite backcourt of Santiago Vescovi and freshmen phenom Kennedy Chandler who can score points in bunches
  • Longwood has experience winning tight games with two overtime wins and seven victories by five points or less and can fill it up on the offensive end (76.3 PPG) with good shooting percentages – 2 2PT, 37.9 3PT, 72.6 FT
  • Winner: Tennessee

No. 4 Illinois vs No. 13 Chattanooga (Friday, 6:50pm, TNT)

  • The Illini are a balanced team with top 25 offenses and defenses and 7-foot monster Kofi Cockburn is a Wooden Award finalist and a matchup nightmare for teams in the paint – plus the Illini have two more All-B1G players in Tren Frazier and Alfonso Plummer
  • After a miraculous buzzer-beater to win the SoCon G David Jean-Baptist and the Mocs will look to use the three-ball to make a run – Jean-Baptist and transfer Malachi Smith have 148 3PTs combined and the team shoots 34.6% from beyond the arch
  • Winner: Illinois

No. 5 Houston vs No. 12 UAB (Friday, 9:20pm, TNT)

  • Houston is one of the best defensive and rebounding teams in college hoops and is a top-12 team in both offensive and defensive efficiency with an impressive 569 assists to 385 turnovers as a team – but they rely heavily on guards Kyler Edwards and Jamal Shead and neither are great shooters
  • UAB is on a seven-game winning streak after winning Conference USA and has scored at least 80 points in each of its last five games led by G Jordan Walker who dropped two 40-point performances against conference powerhouse Middle Tennessee – one being in the tournament championship
  • Winner: Houston

No. 6 Colorado State vs No. 11 Michigan (Thursday, 12:15pm, CBS)

  • The Rams rank in the Top 25 in offensive efficiency (74.3 ppg) and have the Mountain West Player of the Year, David Roddy, who averages 19.4 PTS, 7.6 REB and 2.8 AST – he shoots 62.1 percent inside the arc and 45.4 beyond it
  • The Wolverines have had a disappointing season thus far after beginning the year in the preseason Top-10 and went 5-5 to finish the season but showed some potential in wins against Purdue, at Iowa and at Ohio State – HC Juwan Howard is back on the sideline after a 5 game suspension for swinging at a Wisconsin coach
  • Winner: Michigan

No. 7 Ohio State vs No. 10 Loyola Chicago (Friday, 12:15 pm, CBS)

  • The Buckeyes have lost four of their last five games and are wildly inconsistent however All-B1G F E.J. Lidell, who leads the team averages in PTS (19.6), REB (7.9) and BLK (2.7), can take over any game
  • The Ramblers rely on their feisty defense but are also somewhat of a one-man-show with senior G Lucas Williamson topping the team in PPG (14.0), REB (5.0), total 3-pointers, total steals and second total assists but that doesn’t include Sister Jean – Williamson was a freshman during Loyola’s 2018 Final Four run
  • Winner: Ohio State

No. 8 Seton Hall vs No. 9 TCU (Friday, 9:57pm, truTV)

  • Seton Hall is a streaky team that went on two 6-game winning streaks over the course of the season led by All-Big East G Jared Rhoden and Syracuse transfer G Kandray Richmond
  • The Horned Frogs are led by sophomore Mike Miles who is averaging 15 PTS, 3.5 REB and 3.9 AST and dropped 26 vs both Texas Tech and Baylor, but turnovers remain their Achilles heel with an abysmal 335th national ranking – TCU hasn’t earned a Tournament victory since 1987
  • Winner: Seton Hall