Taking a look at each team in Arizona men’s basketball South region


The Arizona men’s basketball team celebrates after its win against the University of California, Berkeley, earlier this month, winning it the Pac-12 title and trophy. With the Pac-12 champions banner and trophy, the Wildcats would cut down the basketball net and run through the crowd to memorialize the date in Arizona basketball history. 

Ari Koslow

The Arizona men’s basketball team was announced as the No. 2 overall seed in the entire 2022 NCAA Tournament and the No. 1 seed in the South region. Here is a look at each of the other teams in the Wildcats region as potential future opponents in Arizona’s path to the Final Four.

No. 2 seed Villanova: 

Under one of the more experienced coaches in the country in Jay Wright, Villanova University has been one of the more consistent college basketball teams in recent years.

Led by over 15 points per game from guards Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore, they went 26-7 this season. They finished second in the Big East regular season [behind Providence University], but defeated Creighton University in the conference championship.

One of the more steady and consistent teams in the country, this certainly isn’t the best Nova team we have seen in recent years but what we know is they certainly aren’t a team that will beat themselves.

No. 3 seed Tennessee: 

One of the many teams in this region Arizona is familiar with as the University of Tennessee defeated the Cats 77-73 back in December.

Tennessee went 26-7 this season en route to winning the SEC tournament championship as well.

They are led by guards Kennedy Chandler and Santiago Vescovi who both averaged over 13 points per game on the season. The Volunteers ended the season on an absolute tear, winning 12 of their last 13 games with the lone loss coming on the road against the University of Arkansas.

No. 4 seed Illinois:

Another team Arizona fans should be very familiar with as the Wildcats defeated the University of Illinois on the road back in December. Illinois finished this season 22-9, falling to Indiana in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten conference tournament.

Illinois is led by one of the best big men in the country in Kofi Cockburn, who averages over 21 points and 10 rebounds per game on the season. When these two teams last met, Christian Koloko held Cockburn to 13 points which is about as much as you can ask from him.

Illinois also has a number of guards who can catch fire quickly from deep. I’m sure Wildcat fans remember Alfonso Plummer and Trent Frazier, who combined for 52 points against Arizona with each of them knocking down six shots from deep.

No. 5 seed Houston:

The University of Houston won both the regular season and conference tournament championship in the American Conference with a record of 29-5.

They had a few bumps early and in the middle of the season, but generally cruised through the year outside of getting swept by Memphis before defeating them in the conference tournament championship.

Houston’s leading scorer Marcus Sasser who averages just under 18 points per game suffered a season-ending injury early in the year but it did not stop them as a team. They have four other healthy players who average in double figures as a nice balance overall.

Under head coach Kelvin Sampson, Houston has always been a tough out in recent years including a run to the Final Four just last season.

No. 6 seed Colorado State:

The Rams won the regular season title in a tough Mountain West with a 26-5 record before falling to San Diego State in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

Colorado State is led by David Roddy, a star guard for them who averages just under 20 points per game this season.

They are a team full of players who have been with the program for several years so chemistry is no issue for this group.

No. 7 seed Ohio State:

The Buckeyes went 19-11 this season, falling to Penn State in the second round of the Big Ten tournament.

Inconsistency was the primary theme of this Ohio State team, picking up some big wins over the likes of Duke, Seton Hall, University of Wisconsin and University of Illinois to go along with losses against University of Maryland and University of Nebraska. This is not a team trending in the right direction entering this tournament having lost four of their last five games.

The Buckeyes are led by E.J. Liddell, one of the candidates to win the Wooden Award as he averages just under 20 points to go along with eight rebounds while shooting just under 50 percent from the field.

No. 8 seed Seton Hall University:

The Pirates went 21-10 this season, falling to the University of Connecticut in the quarterfinals of the Big East conference tournament. They were on a six-game winning streak entering that game.

They are led by guard Jared Rhoden who averages just under 16 points and seven rebounds per game.Shooting efficiency has been a problem at times for this team over the year.

RELATED: Arizona MBB beat UCLA to win the Pac-12 tournament championship

No. 9 seed Texas Christian University:

The Horned Frogs went 20-12 this season, picking up some huge wins late in the year over Texas Tech, University of Kansas and University of Texas.

They are led by 15 points per game from guard Mike Miles who posted some key scoring performances in those big wins late in the year.

TCU did lose three of four to close the season, so momentum isn’t exactly on their side.

No. 10 seed Loyola Chicago University:

The fantastic story of Sister Jean returns to the NCAA Tournament!

The Ramblers went 25-7 this season, winning the MVC conference tournament to earn an automatic bid.

They are led by 14 points per game from Lucas Williamson, the lone player on this year’s roster who was also part of the magical run Loyola Chicago made in 2018 to the Final Four.

No. 11 seed University of Michigan:

One of the more controversial teams in terms of seeding, it was quite the up-and-down season for the Wolverines who went 17-14 on the year. Over the final 10 games, they legitimately traded wins and losses every other game.

Michigan is led by Hunter Dickinson, a top center in the country who averaged 18 points and eight rebounds per game this season. They have three other players who also average double digit scoring, including a top freshman in Caleb Houstan.

This is a Wolverines team that truly offers so many different potential outcomes this season as a squad who can make a deep run or fall to Colorado State in round one.

No. 12 seed University of Alabama at Birmingham:

The Blazers went 27-7 this season while winning their conference tournament.

Get to know Jordan Walker, the leading scorer for UAB averaging over 20 points per game this season.

This is one of the more popular 12/5 upsets I have seen many people have against Houston. I’m not leaning that way myself, but it can definitely be a close game if Walker catches fire.

No. 13 seed University of Tennessee at Chattanooga:

The Mocs are in this position thanks to a prayer from David Jean-Baptiste as the senior guard beat the buzzer just inside half court to lift the team to a win over Furman in the Southern conference championship and earn an automatic bid to where they are now.

Chattanooga is led by Malachi Smith who averaged over 20 points per game this season.

It won’t be easy to beat Illinois, but anything is possible after watching the shot made by Jean-Baptiste.



No. 14 seed Longwood University: 

The Lancers defeated Winthrop University in their conference championship to get to this point.

They are led by guard Justin Hill who averages 14 points per game to go along with two other scorers in double figures.

Longwood enters the NCAA Tournament on a hot streak having won eight games in a row. One of the better stories in the country this season.

No. 15 seed University of Delaware:

The Blue Hens defeated UNC Wilmington to win the CAA conference tournament.

This will be a familiar name for all of you NBA fans: Jameer Nelson Jr. who is the leading scorer for this Delaware squad.

No. 16 seed Bryant University/Wright State:

Arizona’s opponent will be one of these two teams as they face off in one of the First Four games on Wednesday.

Bryant is led by Peter Kiss, the leading scorer in the entire country. The Bulldogs destroyed Wagner 70-43 to win the Northeast conference tournament.

Wright State, who won the Horizon League conference tournament, is led by the trio of Tanner Holden, Grant Basile and Trey Calvin who all average at least 14 points per game this season.

There is your look at each team in Arizona’s region. It should be an exciting tournament overall as we see every year!

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