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March Madness South Region Predictions | Who Will Advance To The Final Four?

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2024

The NCAA Tournament’s South Region is shaping up to be a battleground of historic proportions, teeming with traditional powerhouses and championship pedigrees. As teams prepare to clash across various host sites, all roads lead to Dallas for the climactic Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds.

With Houston leading the pack as the formidable No. 1 seed amidst a constellation of past champions like Duke, Kentucky, and Marquette, the stage is set for a thrilling showdown. This March Madness betting guide delves into the rich history, strategic matchups, the region’s best bets, and potential upsets that make the South Region a focal point of March Madness wagering.

March Madness South Region Winner Prediction

(1) Houston defeats (3) Kentucky to win South Region

You’d be hard-pressed to write a script featuring a more exciting game than Houston vs Kentucky in the Elite Eight. Houston has the best defense in the nation, while Kentucky is one of the most fearsome offenses.

Track the rest of our NCAA Tournament regional breakdowns:

March Madness South Region Best Bets

Houston to Win the South Region () • DraftKings Sportsbook

Despite a challenging South Region featuring teams like Kentucky, Marquette, and Duke, we predict Houston will excel, backed by the nation’s leading defense. However, their offensive capabilities remain a concern, with field shooting at 43.4% and three-point shooting at 34.7%.

The question is whether their offense can match their defense. The answer is yes, and the Cougars are a great bet to win the South and make the Final Four.

James Madison +5.5 vs. Wisconsin () • DraftKings Sportsbook

The Wisconsin Badgers fought hard to earn the No. 5 seed in the South Region. Their prize? A chance to play a 30-win team in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

In 2023, three mid-major teams entered Round 1 with 30+ wins. Those teams went 2-1, with one, Florida Atlantic, getting to the Final Four. James Madison is accustomed to winning, and they are a fantastic bet as underdogs to cover or upset Wisconsin outright. The odds at DraftKings are solid, as are their March Madness promotions for the tournament.

March Madness South Region Teams Seeded

  1. Houston
  2. Marquette
  3. Kentucky
  4. Duke
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Texas Tech
  7. Florida
  8. Nebraska
  9. Texas A&M
  10. Winner of Boise St. vs. Colorado First Four Game
  11. NC State
  12. James Madison
  13. Vermont
  14. Oakland
  15. Western Kentucky
  16. Longwood

March Madness South Region Top 4 Seeds

1. Houston

Kentucky deserves recognition as a strong contender, especially when ranked third. Their roster, brimming with scoring talent, positions them as a formidable opponent capable of triumphing over any team.

However, top-seeded Houston cannot be overlooked. Although they faced challenges in the Big 12 final, their performance in arguably the most competitive conference has been steadfast throughout the season. Houston’s commitment to a defense-oriented strategy will likely be its most significant asset in the high-stakes atmosphere of March Madness.

Houston is worth an ATS wager in every game it plays during the tournament, and it is a great wager to make the Final Four.

2. Marquette

The Golden Eagles’ status of Tyler Kolek remains uncertain after the All-American point guard was sidelined for six games due to an oblique injury and didn’t play in the Big East Tournament. Marquette’s significant aspirations for the NCAA Tournament depend on his condition.

Kolek stands out as the tournament’s top facilitator, averaging 7.6 assists. Besides his playmaking, he contributes by scoring (averaging 15 points per game) and collecting rebounds (4.7 per game).

If we knew Kolek was 100%, Marquette would be a good bet to make the regional final, but with his health status uncertain, we should be wary of wagering past the opening rounds on Marquette.

3. Kentucky

It’s well-known that Kentucky ranks among the lower tier in defensive capabilities among top-tier college basketball teams. Their performance has mostly stayed the same over the season.

While slight enhancements have occurred, transforming into a defensive powerhouse is highly unlikely. In contrast, their offense is remarkably potent, frequently surpassing 100 points easily rather than at the buzzer.

Kentuck is worth betting on to make the Elite Eight, where Houston will beat them in one of the tournament’s most anticipated games.

4. Duke

Duke has potential and is worth betting on in the opening rounds, but don’t be shocked if the Blue Devils fail to make the Sweet 16. The Blue Devils have been underperforming lately, losing critical in-state games and seeing a dip in their shooting efficiency at 43.2%.

Jeremy Roach’s slump and prior injury may be factors, along with freshman Caleb Foster’s absence, notable for his 40.6% three-point success. Additionally, sophomore Tyrese Proctor’s performance has been lackluster, contributing only 10.5 points and 3.8 assists on average, which might explain some of the team’s recent struggles.

March Madness South Region Cinderella

(12) James Madison

The James Madison Dukes, with a remarkable 31-3 record, have emerged as worthwhile underdogs in bracket pools after their strong season, which included an upset over Michigan State and a dominant performance in the Sun Belt tournament. Since February, they’ve maintained an unbeaten streak, showcasing a high-powered offense that surpassed 80 points in seven of their last eight games.

Ranked in the top 60 in offensive metrics by KenPom, their formidable offense will challenge Wisconsin, which struggled in the Big Ten’s regular season. Following their continuous success and scoring ability, a win could set up a historic clash with fourth-seeded Duke.

March Madness South Region Round 1 Upset

(12) James Madison defeats (5) Wisconsin

Riding high with a record-breaking season, James Madison appears poised to upset Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament’s first round. With the Dukes setting a new Sun Belt victory record and showcasing a stellar defense that ranks fifth nationally in three-point shooting percentage defense at 28.8%, their ability to disrupt Wisconsin’s offense is critical.

Additionally, James Madison’s offense is formidable, averaging 84.4 points per game and ranking eighth nationally in scoring margin at +15.1. Given Wisconsin’s historic 2-4 record as a No. 5 seed, the Dukes’ balanced attack and defensive prowess make them strong candidates for an upset.

Also, consider picking these South Region Round 1 bracket upsets:

  • (13) Vermont over (4) Duke
  • (11) NC State over (6) Texas Tech

March Madness South Region Schedule 2023

Round 1 South Region Schedule

Thursday, March 21 - Friday, March 22

  • Birmingham, Ala.; Orlando, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; Sacramento, Calif.

Round 2 South Region Schedule

Saturday, March 23 - Sunday, March 24

  • Birmingham, Ala.; Orlando, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; Sacramento, Calif.

Sweet 16 South Region Schedule

Saturday, March 28 - Sunday, March 29

  • Birmingham, Ala.; Orlando, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; Sacramento, Calif.

Elite 8 South Region Schedule

Saturday, March 30 - Sunday, March 31

  • Birmingham, Ala.; Orlando, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; Sacramento, Calif.

Bet On March Madness South Region Games

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