This article is part of our NCAA Tournament Preview series.
SOUTH REGION PREVIEW
The South region boasts some past tournament sensations. Staples of the tournament like Duke, Georgetown, St. John's and Gonzaga comprise a quarter of this side of the bracket. Another former juggernaut, UCLA, was a surprise inclusion in the final field; skeptics did not think the Bruins had not done enough to make the Big Dance. Meanwhile, sleepers abound in this region, with Davidson and Stephen F. Austin proving in recent memory to have what it takes to survive and advance. Eastern Washington is dangerous, and even North Dakota State could open some eyes. Perhaps no region is more susceptible to a double-digit seed making the Sweet 16 than the South.
No. 1 Duke - The Blue Devils earned the region's top seed despite falling in the ACC tournament semifinal to eventual champion Notre Dame. Jahlil Okafor is arguably the nation's best player, and the surefire top pick in this June's NBA Draft. The Blue Devils can score in a variety of ways, as Okafor is a capable passer out of the post, finding teammates for open three-pointers. Justise Winslow has played better as the season has progressed, and the athletic, physical swingman gives the Blue Devils a bit of swagger. While Quinn Cook has had a superior senior season, it's freshman Tyus Jones who is the real catalyst for this squad. Duke has had a bevy of quality wins, and only lost four games this season; two