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Breaking down the South Region bracket heading into Sweet 16

We take a look at the South Region heading into the Sweet 16 round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament and discuss our picks for an upset, teams to fade and more.

Princeton v Missouri Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The South Region semifinals take place at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday, March 24. Let’s take a look at the matchups, which will both air on TBS.

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 5 San Diego State, 6:30 p.m. ET Friday

Spread: Alabama -7.5
Total: 137
Moneyline: Alabama -340, SDSU +280

Alabama is the favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook to win it all after upsets have sent several ones and twos tumbling out of contention. The Tide’s offensive depth has worn down opponent after opponent. They defeated No. 16 Texas A&M-CC and No. 8 Maryland to reach the third round.

SDSU has had a relatively easy path here after defeating a No. 12 and a No. 13 seed, and will likely struggle to defend Bama’s fast-moving offense. They excelled in the Mountain West, but because of their matchups this tournament, they don’t have much experience against teams of Alabama’s caliber.

No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 15 Princeton, 9:00 p.m. ET Friday

Spread: Creighton -10
Total: 140
Moneyline: Creighton -540, Princeton +420

The Creighton Bluejays take on this year’s Cinderella. The Bluejays looked very impressive against Baylor in the second round and Ryan Kalkbrenner is backed up by Ryan Nembhard and Trey Alexander when he is shut down, making them a very dangerous team.

Princeton became just the fourth-ever No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 after blowing out Missouri in the second round. This will be a major battle in the paint, as Princeton has been relying on its rebounding abilities. However, they can also shoot from the perimeter.


Alabama -7.5

I have a feeling that SDSU is going to be smacked in the face by this Alabama team. Ranked 18th in adjusted offensive efficiency and third in adjusted defensive efficiency, the Tide’s balance and bench depth are too much for almost any team to handle. I see a blowout here.

Princeton +10

I really like this Princeton team going up against Creighton. Ryan Kalkbrenner will be tough to rebound against, but the Tigers have done well in the paint and kept it consistent from the perimeter throughout the tournament. Ten points seems too wide a spread here, but we will see if their luck ends this week.