The South Region is down to four teams with Virginia, Oregon, Tennessee and Purdue reaching the Sweet 16. It’s a bit surprising that the Ducks are still alive, while Virginia, Tennessee and Purdue have advanced in what has largely been a chalky bracket. That being said, here is one player to keep an eye on from each remaining team in the South during the Sweet 16.
Virginia – Kyle Guy
Guy has struggled in Virginia’s two tournament games this year. He’s combined to shoot 4-23 from the floor and 1-15 from 3-point range, extremely uncharacteristic marks for the junior. The law of averages would say Guy should get back on track against Oregon. His season shooting averages are 45.4 percent from the floor and 43.9 percent from deep. Oregon’s defense is stingy and strong on the perimeter, so Guy breaking out of his shooting slump is paramount for Virginia’s chances.
Oregon – Paul White
Payton Pritchard and Louis King are going to be the focal points for Virginia’s defense, but White is the guy to watch. He had a strong game against Wisconsin and followed it up with a rough outing against UC-Irvine. He’s a forward who can stretch the floor and open up lanes for Oregon’s perimeter stars, but if he doesn’t hit outside shots, Virginia’s defense can focus in on Pritchard and King. White’s contributions will be key for the Ducks to keep the magic alive.
Tennessee – Admiral Schofield
Grant Williams is the SEC Player of the Year and Tennessee’s star, but Schofield is the one taking the big shots down the stretch. He’s improved as a perimeter shooter in each season, knocking down 41.5 percent of his triples this year. Schofield wasn’t on the floor late against Iowa and should be motivated to have a big game against Purdue. He’s fiery, feisty and determined — a dangerous combination for Purdue to deal with in March.
Purdue – Carsen Edwards
Edwards was hyper-efficient in Purdue’s beatdown of Villanova. He went 12-for-21 from the field and 9-for-16 from 3-point land to finish with 42 points in an 87-61 win. Edwards can score at every level and is able to carry Purdue on his own. If his supporting cast can hit 3s like it did against Villanova (7-for-14), the Boilermakers will be in great position to get to the Elite 8.