The Florida Gators may be the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, but the Selection Committee did them no favors in the south region.
There are two very talented teams, Kansas and Syracuse, that spent all season in the top 10, while VCU and UCLA seem to be hitting their stride at the right time. There are also a couple of dangerous lower seeds -- don't sleep on Ohio State or New Mexico -- that could make some noise, too. The Gators will be favorites to reach Dallas, but it will be far from easy.
Here is the schedule for the south region's second round:
No. 1 Florida vs. No. 16 Albany/Mount St. Mary's winner, 4:10 p.m. Thursday, TBS
The Gators have all the qualities of a champion. This one could get out of hand in a hurry.
No. 8 Colorado vs. No. 9 Pittsburgh, 1:40 p.m. Thursday, TBS
The Buffaloes would probably be seeded in the 4-6 range if Spencer Dinwiddie doesn't tear his ACL in January. CU still has some talent with Askia Booker, Xavier Johnson and Josh Scott, but there isn't much else. If Lamar Patterson can get going for Pittsburgh, the Panthers will be a very tough out.
No. 5 VCU vs. No. 12 Stephen F. Austin, 7:27 p.m. Friday, TruTV
VCU's Havoc defense will cause some problems, but don't sleep on Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks' last loss came on Nov. 23, and they can methodically put teams away on the offensive end of the floor, ranking eighth nationally with nearly 17 assists a game.
No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 13 Tulsa, 9:57 p.m. Friday, TruTV
The Bruins looked terrific in the Pac-12 Tournament and have arguably the nation's most dynamic backcourt with Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams. If they can get to the Sweet 16, UCLA has the talent to hang with the Gators.
No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Dayton, 12:15 p.m. Thursday, CBS
Many felt Ohio State was a bit underseeded, and hard to disagree given the Buckeyes' ability to shut teams down on the defensive end. Dayton has a legit 10-man rotation, though, and won't be afraid to let it fly from behind the arc.
No. 3 Syracuse vs. No. 14 Western Michigan, 2:45 p.m. Thursday, CBS
Will the real Syracuse please stand up? The Orange were undefeated for most of the season, but they've been awful over the last month. If Tyler Ennis, C.J. Fair and Trevor Cooney can get back in a groove, the Orange are near impossible to beat. Keep an eye on Western Michigan's David Brown and Shayne Whittington, who both average upwards of 16 points a game.
No. 7 New Mexico vs. No. 10 Stanford, 1:40 p.m. Friday, TBS
This could be the best game of the first round. Both teams have plenty of talent, headlined by New Mexico's Cameron Bairstow (20.3 ppg) and Stanford's Chasson Randle (18.7 ppg). Whichever team wins this one could give Kansas some real trouble in the third round.
No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 15 Eastern Kentucky, 4:10 p.m. Friday, TBS
Joel Embiid won't be playing, but the Jayhawks have too much talent for this one to be very close.