The Kansas Jayhawks won the Big 12 for the 12th year in a row, added a conference tournament title to its name and claimed the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. It's been a pretty good weekend for Bill Self, whose squad will be the presumptive favorites to come out of the South region.
However, the region is far from a cake walk. Awaiting Kansas in the second round is the winner of Thursday's Colorado/Connecticut game. The Buffaloes were one of the better teams in a stacked Pac-12, boasting wins over the likes of Oregon, Arizona and California, all fellow tournament teams. UConn just completed an incredible run through the American Athletic tournament, going from bubble team to winning an automatic bid.
The Miami Hurricanes made a late push for a No. 1 seed, but will settle for the third spot in this region, facing surprise MAC champions Buffalo in the first round. Arizona will await the winner of Tuesday's First Four game between Vanderbilt and Wichita State, two teams which are dangerous and capable of beating anyone in the country. This region's 6/11 matchup may have the most upset potential.
The bottom of the bracket sees No. 2 Villanova, probably the biggest challenge to Kansas in this region. The Wildcats will try to make up for last year's disappointment, when they got a No. 1 seed but were upset in the round of 32. Jay Wright's team has much bigger ambitions this season, but he'll see potential landmines in either Iowa or Temple in the next round.
The Spokane pod sees California taking on Big West champions Hawaii, while Maryland faces South Dakota State. The Bears and Terrapins have enough talent to make a big run in this tournament, but they'd do well to not overlook their mid-major opponents.
South region TV schedule (all times Eastern)
Thursday, March 17
Des Moines, Iowa (Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill, Tracy Wolfson)
1:30 p.m., TNT: No. 8 Colorado vs. No. 9 Connecticut
4 p.m., TNT: No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Austin Peay
Providence, R.I. (Ian Eagle, Chris Webber, Len Elmore, Evan Washburn)
6:50 p.m., TNT: No. 3 Miami vs. No. 14 Buffalo
9:20 p.m., TNT: No. 6 Arizona vs. No. 11 Vanderbilt/Wichita State
Friday, March 18
Brooklyn, N.Y. (Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce)
12:40 p.m., truTV: No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 15 UNC Asheville
3:10 p.m., truTV: No. 7 Iowa vs. No. 10 Temple
Spokane, Wash. (Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb, Ros Gold-Onwude)
2 p.m., TBS: No. 4 California vs. No. 13 Hawaii
4:30 p.m., TBS: No. 5 Maryland vs. No. 12 South Dakota State