SOUTH REGION (North Texas)

Best Players

1. Michigan guard Trey Burke. The favorite to win national player of the year honors, Burke averages 19.2 points and 6.7 assists. His next bad game will be his first.

2. Georgetown forward Otto Porter. A presumptive first-team All-American, Porter is capable of carrying Georgetown all the way to the Final Four.

3. Kansas guard Ben McLemore. A redshirt freshman who's inconsistent — seven points one game, 36 the next -- but currently projects as the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft.

4. UCLA forward Shabazz Muhammad. A guaranteed top-10 pick, but only the fourth-best player in the South.

Best Coaches

1, Kansas' Bill Self. This has been one of his finest coaching jobs. Then again, you could say that every year.

2. Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart. If you watched VCU blitz through the Madness two years ago, you know why he's on a list surrounded by some of the biggest names in the game.

3. Florida's Billy Donovan. The only man not named Krzyzewski to win back-to-back national championships in the post-Wooden era.

4. North Carolina's Roy Williams. Don't forget about the guy who has two titles and seven — seven! -- Final Fours.

Dream matchup

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 8 North Carolina. Roy's current team vs. Roy's former team in the third round would be must-see TV. And the programs have rich histories, or so they say.


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Upset Special

No. 11 Minnesota over No. 6 UCLA. The Bruins weren't deep to start with and now have lost No. 2 scorer Jordan Adams, who's out for the tournament with a broken foot. Minnesota is athletic enough to keep pace with Muhammad and Co. and won't hesitate to push UCLA around underneath.

Sleeper Pick

North Carolina. Odd to think of the Tar Heels as a sleeper, but they're an eighth seed that lost 10 games and doesn't have much up front. Then again, UNC is hardly devoid of talent. The switch to small ball has given the Heels new life and could be their ticket to the Sweet 16 and beyond.

Last Team Standing

Michigan. The Wolverines are loaded on the perimeter with Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III, and that's where games are won in March. Their competition in the bottom half of the region will come not from No. 2 Georgetown but No. 3 Florida.

For more on college sports, see Jon Wilner's College Hotline at blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports. Contact him at jwilner@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5716.