March Madness South Region Preview: Top Seeds, Upsets, Cinderella Sleepers, Predictions & Bet Picks for 2021 NCAA Tournament

Last Updated: Mar 17, 2021

Here’s The Game Day’s March Madness South Region Preview and predictions for the 2021 NCAA Tournament, breaking down the region with Baylor, Ohio State, Arkansas and Purdue as the top four seeds. Daniel Preciado offers his advice for Upset Specials, Cinderella Sleepers, and 2021 March Madness South betting picks.

March Madness Region Previews: West | South | East | Midwest

After you read our reveals for March Madness South predictions, check out our complete 2021 March Madness Preview Guide.

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March Madness South Region Preview

March Madness South Region Schedule

  • Round 1: Friday, March 19-Saturday, March 20
  • Round 2: Sunday, March 21-Monday, March 22
  • Sweet 16: Saturday, March 27-Sunday, March 28
  • Elite 8: Monday, March 29-Tuesday, March 30

March Madness South Region Teams

  1. Baylor
  2. Ohio State
  3. Arkansas
  4. Purdue
  5. Villanova
  6. Texas Tech
  7. Florida
  8. North Carolina
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Virginia Tech
  11. Utah State
  12. Winthrop
  13. North Texas
  14. Colgate
  15. Oral Roberts
  16. Hartford

March Madness South Region: Top 4 Seeds Breakdown

1. Baylor

One of the consensus best teams in the tournament and a well-deserving one seed, Baylor will start off their road to cutting down the nets against 16-seed Hartford. Baylor’s offensive charge is led by the three-headed monster of Jared Butler (17.1 PPG), MaCio Teague (16.2 PPG), and Davion Mitchell (14.1 PPG).

The Bears are a well-coached squad who will undoubtedly make some noise barring an upset. In my personal bracket, I have them making it to the Elite 8 to dance with Ohio State.

March Madness South Region Preview: Top Seeds, Upset Special, Cinderella Sleepers, & Bet Picks for 2021 NCAA Tournament. Can Baylor outlast a tough late-region draw?

2021 March Madness South Region Preview: Jared Butler helps make Baylor a Final Four favorite, but can the Bears outlast a tough late-bracket draw? (Image: USA TODAY Sports)

2. Ohio State

Ohio State is just as good of a basketball team as Baylor, and frankly, the Buckeyes’ slow start is the only thing that kept them out of receiving the 1 seed bid. Ohio State does not have a roster loaded with NBA-level talent, but the club runs like a well-oiled machine.

Expect E.J. Liddell and Duane Washington Jr. to make their names known.

3. Arkansas

Led by future lottery pick Moses Moody, the Arkansas Razorbacks will try their best to knock off Baylor and Ohio State. This excellent team can genuinely provide an upset which might sound crazy as a 3 seed. However, given the context of the South region, anyone knocking off the Buckeyes or Baylor qualifies as an upset.

4. Purdue

The Boilermakers are an interesting squad whose best asset is junior Trevion Williams, who averaged 15.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game in the regular season. They have a tough road to the Elite 8 with the three aforementioned teams above, North Texas in Round 1, and a hungry Villanova team likely waiting in the wings.

March Madness South Region: Upset Special

(11) Utah State over (6) Texas Tech (Round 1)

One of the more underrated teams in the NCAA this season, Utah State will show exactly why they should not be counted out in the very first round. Texas Tech is a fantastic team, but their first-round matchup is hellish. Utah State currently ranks 40th in KenPom ratings in comparison to Texas Tech’s 23rd-ranked position.

March Madness South Region: Cinderella Sleepers

Utah State

As I just mentioned, I think Utah State could make some legitimate noise in this region as an 11 seed. Getting past Texas Tech will be tough, and getting past Arkansas (who will likely win over Colgate) will be even tougher. Even still, I would say Utah State has the most upset Cinderella story equity of any team in the South region.

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is not one of the best teams in the country, but they have continued to surprise in the ACC this season, and there’s no reason to think they would stop now. They absolutely could knock off Florida in the Round of 64, but the road becomes a lot murkier after that.

March Madness South Region: Prediction

Winner: Ohio State over Baylor

This is a game that I genuinely believe can go either way. However, I simply don’t see a way that this region deviates from an Ohio State versus Baylor final. Upsets happen, but I strongly believe the odds of an upset here in this region are super slim.

Ohio State and Baylor could be the closest matchup of any potential Elite 8 showdown.

March Madness South Region: Futures Bet Picks

All betting odds for March Madness South picks are courtesy of BetMGM as of March 14 of 8:30 p.m. ET. Use BetMGM’s welcome offer — a risk-free bet of up to $600 — to place this and more 2021 March Madness futures bets for the NCAA Tournament.

Ohio State to win the 2021 NCAA Tournament (+1400)

Ohio State stands as a great value; laying $100 would pay out $1500. If Ohio State can get by the Baylor, Villanova, and Arkansas tier of the tournament and make it out of the South, this starts to look like a great bet even against the likes of Gonzaga and Michigan.

Baylor to win the 2021 NCAA Tournament (+350)

This isn’t particularly a value, but netting plus odds on an elite team is never a bad thing. All that was said about Ohio State can be said about Baylor, too, but the odds simply are not the same. That’s what makes Ohio State the clear bet here.

Utah State to win the 2021 NCAA Tournament (+6600)

What sort of article would this be if we didn’t include a long-shot Cinderella as a winner of the NCAA Tournament? Laying $100 on Utah State would provide a $6700 payday. Why not? Utah State is one of the best teams that people are not ‘in’ on and capitalizing on that stigma could be the play.

March Madness Region Previews: West | South | East | Midwest

Use these 2021 March Madness South Region predictions to place an offer at one of our partner sportsbooks. 👇


Daniel Preciado

Daniel Preciado is a current student at Syracuse University in the sports analytics program where he is minoring in economics. He is a yearly participant in numerous high-stakes fantasy leagues across multiple sports. Prior to joining The Game Day, Daniel Preciado has written for The Action Network, FanSided, and Fantrax.

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