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NCAAB Championship: South Region Update

If the East is the region that has had the most chaos, the South is surely second.

The South has already produced two of the most memorable stories of the tournament.

The first involves two teams that have since been eliminated - #4 Virginia and #13 Furman. When UVA guard Kihei Clark threw a football pass straight to a Furman player with five seconds remaining, it was tough to believe what you were seeing. JP Pegues' subsequent game-winning three to down Virginia will surely go down as one of the shots of the tournament.

The second major story out of this region is 15-seed Princeton. It's the third-straight tournament that a 15-seed has advanced past the round of 32 (2021 Oral Roberts, 2022 St. Peter's), so perhaps it shouldn't come as a huge shock. But the Ivy League champions are playing some of the best basketball in the country despite being one of the highest-ranked teams in the field.

Can they become the first ever 15-seed to reach the last four?

Let’s take a look at the upcoming matchups and latest odds for the South region.

What#1 Alabama vs. #5 San Diego State
WhereKFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
When6:30 ET, Friday, March 24th
How to watchTSN
OddsAlabama -7.5, San Diego St. +275 ML

Alabama (+350 to Win NCAAB Championship) has emerged as the consensus best team in the nation over the last several weeks. The 1-seed continues to prove that on the court, having breezed past each of its first two opponents in this tournament. 'Bama is the only team in the field to win both tourney games by 20+ points.

The signs point to 'Bama making a deep run, but as the rounds progress, the pressure builds, and the opponents become more difficult to beat, there is no telling how they'll fare. Head coach Nate Oats hasn't coached a team beyond the last 16 in five previous visits to the dance (3 with Buffalo, 2 with Alabama).

San Diego St. ended the the short-lived curse of the Mountain West in the men's tournament and is hungry for more. Last year, MWC teams famously went 0-4 in the tournament, bringing the conference's combined record to 1-11 since 2016.

This year, SDSU was the only one out of four MWC teams to win a tourney game (Nevada lost in the play-in, Utah St. and Boise St. lost in the round of 64). After defeating #12 Charleston and #13 Furman, they now get the best team in the nation and a chance to cause a major upset in the last 16.

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What#6 Creighton vs. #15 Princeton
WhereKFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
When9 ET, Friday, March 24th
How to watchTSN
OddsCreighton -10, Princeton +425 ML

There's something about New Jersey underdogs in March.

In the last two men's tournaments, three 15- or 16-seed NJ schools have produced monster upsets. Last year it was #15 Saint Peter's going to the regional final. This year, #16 FDU produced a historic first-round upset, while #15 Princeton has looked as good as anyone. The Ivy League representatives are +2500 to win the region and +20000 to win the national title.

So why is Creighton a 10-point favorite?

The 6-seed out of the Big East has been playing excellent ball itself, having handled #3 Baylor with relative ease in the second round. Many feel Greg McDermott's team is built for a run in March due to roster makeup and current form. Creighton is +200 to reach the last four and +900 to win it all.

Plus, any crazy high seed, such as #15 Princeton, that has advanced this far in past tournaments eventually puts up a dud. the highest seed to ever reach the last four was a #11.

But with the parity in the men's game in 2023, there is no telling how deep Princeton can go.

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