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Breaking down all four regions of March Madness

Brandon Triche of the Syracuse drives to the

Brandon Triche of the Syracuse drives to the basket against Dion Dixon of the Cincinnati. (Getty) Photo Credit: Brandon Triche of the Syracuse drives to the basket against Dion Dixon of the Cincinnati. (Getty)

SOUTH

Despite their loss Sunday in the SEC Tournament final to Vanderbilt, freshman phenom Anthony Davis and overall No. 1-seeded Kentucky are the favorites to win out of the South.

It won't be easy to do that, however. A potential matchup with defending national champion Connecticut looms, while No. 4 seed Indiana, a potential Sweet 16 matchup, dealt John Calipari's squad one of its two losses.

The South's No. 5-No. 12 matchup pits Wichita State against VCU in a battle of mid-major powers. The CAA Tournament champion Rams enter the Big Dance in a much less controversial fashion than last season, when they were one of the final at-large teams selected.

A potential third-round matchup between No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 2 Duke could yield one of the best displays of outside-shooting prowess in the tournament.


EAST

The East's top seed, Syracuse (31-2), compiled a Big East-record 17 wins in conference play, while Big 10 regular-season co-champion Ohio State and its star big man Jared Sullinger (below) had to settle for a No. 2 seed after their loss to Michigan State in Sunday's conference final.

The hottest team in the region is No. 3 Florida State. The Seminoles knocked off Duke and North Carolina on back-to-back days en route to the ACC title.

A potential bracket-buster could be No. 12 Harvard, the Ivy League champion that spent time in the Top 25 this season. No. 10 West Virginia boasts firepower as well out of the Big East.


WEST

The last No. 1 seed went to Big 10 Tournament champion Michigan State, ahead of Big 12 Tournament champion Missouri, led by Kim English (below right).

The Spartans get no favors as the top seed, however, as they face a potential third-round fixture with dark horse Memphis and its star sophomore Will Barton (18.1 points per game).

This region features what must be the tournament's most controversial at-large team. First Four participant Iona, which plays BYU Tuesday, was on virtually no one's projected bracket going into Selection Sunday -- just like last year's surprise Final Four team, VCU.

MIDWEST

North Carolina was a No. 1 seed in just about everybody's preseason bracket, and they didn't disappoint. Senior Tyler Zeller and sophomore Harrison Barnes headline one of the deepest teams Roy Williams (center) has led during a nine-year tenure that has already yielded two titles.

Kansas settled for a No. 2 seed after losing to Missouri on Saturday, setting up an intriguing potential Elite Eight matchup -- Williams coached at Kansas for 15 years. But that's assuming the Jayhawks make it that far. Under Williams' successor, Bill Self, Kansas has four losses in the Big Dance to teams seeded No. 9 or lower. No. 10 Purdue, led by redshirt senior Robbie Hummel, has the best chance to increase that dubious number if they meet in the third round.  

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