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2011 March Madness Predictions: Southwest Regional

The winner of our final bracket, the Southwest Regional, will take on the winner of the Southeast Regional in the Final Four in Houston. The Kansas Jayhawks sit atop this bracket, as they won both the regular season and tournament titles in the Big 12 Conference.

Who's overseeded? I'd have to say West Virginia, who has never been particularly good outside of Morgantown. They're lucky to have gotten the benefit of playing the winner of a play-in game in their first match-up. At the very least, I think the Mountaineers should have had their seedings flip-flopped with Vanderbilt. Of course, if those two teams meet in the Round of 32, I suppose it won't matter much.

Which team has "Danny Manning" potential? How's about we take a Big Ten team here and say the Purdue Boilermakers, thanks to JaJuan Johnson? Remember how much trouble everyone thought Purdue was in when Robbie Hummel got hurt (again)? Well, part of the reason they weren't was because of Johnson, the Big Ten Player of the Year and a first-team All-American.

Potential first-round upset: I'm not sure why the Richmond Spiders wound up with a No. 12 seed, but Vanderbilt had better be on their toes. Also, Georgetown's fate against either Southern Cal or Virginia Commonwealth may depend on the health of forward Chris Wright, who has been cleared to play in the tournament after breaking his hand, but nobody knows how effective he'll be at this point. Lastly, if Morehead State's Kenneth Faried. . .who passed Tim Duncan this year as college basketball's all-time leading rebounder. . .can have his way with Louisville's small-ish forwards, Rick Pitino's bunch could find themselves heading home early.

Sweet 16 Picks: Kansas vs. Richmond, Purdue vs. Notre Dame

Elite Eight Picks: Kansas vs. Purdue

Predicted Southwest Bracket Winner: Kansas

So, this gives me three number one seeds in the Final Four. Will it actually play out that way? Probably not. . .but that's part of the fun of March Madness, isn't it?

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.