Cincinnati Receives 7 Seed for March Madness

Despite being AAC champions, Cincinnati will head to the Big Dance as a seven seed in the South region. The Bearcats will travel north to Columbus and play the tenth seeded Iowa Hawkeyes, a great matchup and location. The 1 seed in the South region is Virginia, who failed to win a game as a one seed in last years March Madness. The South is up for grabs, and the Bearcats look to take it, starting Friday.

Region Overview

The South region features an abundance of quality teams, including 10 conference champions. Virginia and Tennessee are seemingly the top dogs, both who were ranked in the top five nearly all season. The region is also very deep, with only one team with less than 20 wins (9th seeded Oklahoma has 19). Every other region has 2 or more teams with less than 20 wins.

Seeding

  1. Virginia (29-3)
  2. Tennessee (29-5)
  3. Purdue (23-9)
  4. Kansas State (25-8)
  5. Wisconsin (23-10)
  6. Villanova (25-9)
  7. CINCINNATI (28-6)
  8. Mississippi (20-12)
  9. Oklahoma (19-13)
  10. Iowa (22-11)
  11. St Mary’s (22-11)
  12. Oregon (23-12)
  13. UC Irvine (30-5)
  14. Old Dominion (26-8)
  15. Colgate (24-10)
  16. Gardner-Webb (23-11)

Overall, the seeding is more or less correct. Cincinnati should be higher and Wisconsin is too high. I would swap Cincy and Wisconsin and that would be perfect seeding.

Predictions

Via the Westgate SuperBook in Vegas, here is every teams odds to win the South:

  • Virginia: 6/5
  • Tennessee: 3/1
  • Purdue: 4/1
  • Villanova: 12/1
  • Kansas State, CINCINNATI: 15/1
  • Wisconsin, Oregon: 20/1
  • Ole Miss: 60/1
  • Oklahoma: 80/1
  • Iowa, St. Mary’s: 100/1
  • UC Irvine, Old Dominion: 200/1
  • Colgate, Gardner-Webb2000/1

However, the top dog occasionally goes down, and often times Virginia does. My game-by-game predictions are the following (winners in bold italics):

Round 1:

Virginia vs Gardner-Webb

Mississippi vs Oklahoma

Wisconsin vs Oregon

Kansas State vs UC Irvine

Villanova vs St. Mary’s

Purdue vs Old Dominion

CINCINNATI vs Iowa

Tennessee vs Colgate

Round 2:

Virginia vs Mississippi

vs UC Irvine

Villanova vs Old Dominion

Tennessee vs Cincinnati

Sweet 16:

Mississippi vs UC Irvine

Cincinnati vs Old Dominion

Elite 8:

Mississippi vs Cincinnati

Recap

The South region is filled with potential upsets. Cincinnati is criminally under-seeded, and has Final 4 ability. Virginia is unable to win on the big stage. Tennessee is inconsistent. Old Dominion is that team who seems like they’ll make a run. Kansas State is missing Dean Wade, their star player. Wisconsin is capable of beating a lot of teams, but also capable of losing to anyone. Villanova is a confusing team, but has picked up a bit of steam in the past few games.

Those teams are seemingly Cincinnati’s biggest competition, and all have question marks. Cincinnati was placed in a region that has a lot of solid teams. There is no team who is a clear-cut favorite, and anyone can win it if they play their very best basketball, which Cronin will look to have the boys doing on Friday vs Iowa.

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