2023 NCAA Tournament South Region Betting Primer (March Madness)

Mar 13, 2023 - 12:48 AM

The South Region is stacked with head coaches that have incredible resumes.

The Alabama Crimson Tide will be the team to beat on that side of the bracket. Alabama won the SEC Championship and only lost five games all season long. They’ll have a target on their back every game they play in the tournament.

I’m predicting multiple upsets in this region. So check below and see which upsets could happen in the South Region during this year’s March Madness.

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2023 NCAA Tournament South Region Betting Primer

(Odds courtesy DraftKings)

(1) Alabama Crimson Tide

Odds to make the Final Four: +200

Strengths: Alabama is one of the best defenses in the nation, holding teams to a 41.5% effective field goal percentage this season.

Weaknesses: The Crimson Tide is poor in the turnover department. Alabama turns the ball over 19% on offense but only earns 15.9% of turnovers on the defensive end.

X-Factor: Brandon Miller. Miller won the SEC Player of the Year and will earn plenty of other honors later after putting up nearly 20 points per game.

Prediction: Sweet 16

(2) Arizona Wildcats

Odds to make the Final Four: +440

Strengths: Arizona has one of the best offenses in the nation, shooting 38.2% from downtown and 56.6% from inside the arc.

Weaknesses: The Wildcats have allowed 10.8% steals this season, which is 326th in all of college basketball. They don’t protect the ball.

X-Factor: Azuolas Tubelis. Tubelis is one of the best players in the country. He’s extremely efficient inside, shooting close to 60% from inside the arc this season.

Prediction: Sweet 16

(3) Baylor Bears

Odds to make the Final Four: +550

Strengths: The Baylor Bears dominate the offensive glass, hauling in 34.7% of offensive rebounds per game this season. They’ve also shot an effective field goal percentage of 53.1% and are one of the best offenses in the nation.

Weaknesses: Baylor has allowed other teams to add 31.1% of offensive rebounds this season and has watched teams shoot over 53% from inside against them this year.

X-Factor: Guard Play. Baylor has two of the best guards in the country, Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer. Keyonte George has also stepped up as a freshman. The guards need to keep Baylor in control.

Prediction: Round of 32

(4) Virginia Cavaliers

Odds to win Final Four: +1000

Strengths: Virginia has an adjusted efficiency of 94.8 on the defensive end, which is the 25th best in the nation. The Cavaliers have also turned the ball over just 13.7% of the time.

Weaknesses: The offense has shot just 50.4% from inside the arc and is shooting just above 70% from the foul line, which isn’t all that good.

X-Factor: Tony Bennett. It never hurts to have a National Championship coach.

Prediction: First Round

(5) San Diego State Aztecs

Odds to make the Final Four: +1000

Strengths: The Aztecs play some of the best defenses you’ll see in this tournament. Teams have shot just 29.2% from downtown against the Aztecs this season.

Weaknesses: San Diego State shoots just 49.4% from inside the arc.

X-Factor: The defense. Can the Aztecs continue playing defense at a very high rate?

Prediction: First Round

(6) Creighton Bluejays

Odds to make the Final Four: +750

Strengths: Creighton is a well-balanced team. The offense has shot an effective field goal percentage of 54.3%, while the defense has held teams to a 47.3% effective field goal percentage. Creighton also dominates the defensive glass and limits turnovers.

Weaknesses: The Bluejays have only earned 25.5% offensive rebounds and rarely get to the foul line themselves. Creighton needs to hope it hits their shots.

X-Factor: Baylor Scheierman. Can Scheierman make a difference for Creighton this time around in the NCAA Tournament? That’s why he transferred over! He’s got to help deliver.

Prediction: Final Four

(7) Missouri Tigers

Odds to make the Final Four: +4300

Strengths: The Missouri Tigers shoot the lights out of the ball, hitting 36.1% from deep, 55.9% from inside, and 75.8% from the foul line.

Weaknesses: Missouri can’t get many stops. Opponents have shot 35.4% from long range and 51.7% from inside the arc while hauling in 37.3% of offensive rebounds.

X-Factor: Rebounding. You can’t win many games when you’re getting out-rebounded by a wide margin.

Prediction: First Round

(8)  Maryland Terrapins

Odds to make the Final Four: +1700

Strengths: The Terrapins just almost everything at an above-average level. They’re just well-balanced on both ends of the floor.

Weaknesses: Maryland only hits 33% from downtown and watches their shots get blocked almost 10% of the time. That can’t happen.

X-Factor: Jahmir Young. Young has scored over 16 points per game but has shot just 6-for-28 over his last two games in the Big Ten Tournament. That needs to fix if Maryland wants to move on in the Tournament.

Prediction: First Round

Check out all of our 2021 March Madness coverage >>

(9) West Virginia Mountaineers

Odds to make the Final Four: +1600

Strengths: West Virginia gets to the foul line at a high rate and hits its foul shots 74.1% of the time. The team also earns a high rate of offensive rebounds and is hitting shots from the field at an above-average rate as well.

Weaknesses: Due to a ton of defensive pressure, the Mountaineers also foul at a very high rate and don’t defend shots at a great rate, giving up 34.1% from three and 50.5% from inside the arc this season.

X-Factor: Pressure. There are so many teams that struggle to work through pressure late in games. West Virginia’s pressure could help them either stick around in a game or blow a team out of the water.

Prediction: Round of 32

(10) Utah State

Odds to make the Final Four: +4600

Strengths: Utah State can hang with anyone offensively. The Aggies have shot a 55.6% effective field goal percentage and even shoot nearly 77% from the full line.

Weaknesses: Utah State lacks offensive rebounds and won’t earn a whole bunch of turnovers either. The defense around the perimeter could also be better, with teams hitting 34.3% of shots from long range against Utah State.

X-Factor: Experience. There’s not a single freshman on this roster, and most players who get minutes are seniors or juniors. That’s always a good thing come Tournament time.

Prediction: Round of 32

(11) North Carolina State

Odds to make the Final Four: +4100

Strengths: North Carolina State limits turnovers to 13.4% and has nailed nearly 35% of shots from downtown this year.

Weaknesses: The Wolfpack rarely gets to the foul line and typically fouls at a high rate on the defensive end.

X-Factor: Limited Turnovers. North Carolina State will give themselves a ton of chances to win their first-round matchup if they just limit turnovers and get shots up.

Prediction: First Round

(12) College of Charleston

Odds to make the Final Four: +8000

Strengths: Charlson has earned over 35% of offensive rebounds this season. On defense, the team has limited opponents to just 30.3% from downtown.

Weaknesses: Charleston only shoots 33.3% from downtown.

X-Factor: Three-Point Shooting. Charleston will take plenty of threes. The Cougars won’t make all of them but if they can get hot, they’ll be a dangerous out.

Prediction: Sweet 16

(13) Furman Paladins

Odds to make the Final Four: +10000

Strengths: Furman has shot 59.1% from inside the arc this season. That’s the best rate in college basketball.

Weaknesses: Opponents are scoring 51.2% from inside the arc this season. Fouls can also get a bit high for Furman.

X-Factor: Jalen Slawson. Slawson came through with 20 points in Furman’s championship win over Chattanooga. He’s shooting over 55% from the floor and is one of two significant seniors on the roster.

Prediction: Round of 32

(14) UC Santa Barbara Gauchos

Odds to make the Final Four: +10000

Strengths: Santa Barbara has nailed 35.1% from long range and 54.8% from inside the arc. They’ve also shot 73.7% from the foul line and continue to play great defense, especially on the defensive glass.

Weaknesses: The Gauchos only earn 26.5% of offensive rebounds and allow opponents to shoot 34.5% from downtown this year.

X-Factor: Ajay Mitchell scored at least 20 points in every single Big West Tournament game. He helped lead Santa Barbara to the NCAA Tournament with some stellar performances. This team will need him to show up.

Prediction: First Round

(15) Princeton Tigers

Odds to make the Final Four: +10000

Strengths: The Tigers have limited teams to 22.8% of offensive rebounds this season.

Weaknesses:  Princeton has rarely earned a high rate of turnovers this season.

X-Factor: Rebounding. If Princeton can continue to rebound at a high rate against Arizona, the Tigers will be in great shape. Just don’t expect that to happen.

Prediction: First Round

(16) Southeast Missouri State or Texas A&M Corpus Christi

Odds to make the Final Four: +10000

Strengths: There will be no strengths for either team going up against Alabama. Let’s be real.

Weaknesses: Only one team in the history of college basketball has beaten a one-seed.

X-Factor: Luck. Whoever wins the first game will need luck in the second game against Alabama.

Prediction: First Round

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