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NCAA Basketball Tournament 2011 Predictions: Southwest Region Picks

The Southwest region is there for Kansas' taking this year as the Jayhawks come in as the No. 1 seed. That doesn't mean it'll be a cakewalk for Bill Self's squad, though, as danger is lurking around every corner. Purdue has the ability to surprise some people and Louisville is always a tough out. Notre Dame is also hanging around the corner, making this a tough draw.

USC and VCU get the action started in the First Four round, with the winner moving on to face Georgetown in the second round. Be sure to grab a printable bracket and  make your own picks ahead of the start of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday.

First Four
USC def. VCU. I'm still trying to figure out what VCU is doing here.

Second Round
No. 1 Kansas over No. 16 Boston University. Rock Chalk Jayhawk rolls easily.
No. 8 UNLV over No. 9 Illinois. This game is about as close to a toss-up as you can find. I'll take UNLV in a tight one.
No. 5 Vanderbilt over No. 12 Richmond. Another close 5-12 game, but Vanderbilt pulls this one out.
No. 4 Louisville over No. 13 Morehead State. The Cardinals take this one, but make sure to tune-in and check out Kenneth Faried, the nation's best rebounder.
No. 6 Georgetown over No. 11 USC. Kevin O'Neill has run his team ragged using a short rotation. I have no faith in the Trojans being able to hang with the Hoyas.
No. 3 Purdue over No. 14 St. Peter's. Believe it or not, Purdue may be a bit under-seeded here.
No. 10 Florida State over No. 7 Texas A&M. Another ridiculously close matchup according to Ken Pomeroy. He's got Florida State in a coin-flip, so I'll go with that.
No. 2 Notre Dame over No. 15 Akron. No chance. Notre Dame rolls.

Third Round
No. 1 Kansas over No. 8 UNLV. Kansas is the favorite in the region and it'd be a shock if the Jayhawks faltered this early.
No. 4 Louisville over No. 5 Vanderbilt. Shouldn't be a problem for the Cardinals
No. 3 Purdue over No. 6 Georgetown. Purdue may be the second-best team in this region better than Notre Dame.
No. 2 Notre Dame over No. 7 Florida State. The top-four seeds hold serve.

Regional Semifinals
No. 1 Kansas over No. 4 Louisville. Kansas is simply the better team, or should be. Then again, we do remember last year, right?
No. 3 Purdue over No. 2 Notre Dame. I still like Purdue here and the Boilermakers are a bit under-seeded. According to Pomeroy, Purdue is the better team on paper.

Regional Final
No. 1 Kansas over No. 3 Purdue. And the trendy pick advances to the Final Four. Of course.

For more bracket predictions, check out the rest of our NCAA Tournament predictions StoryStream. To break down the bracket with Gonzaga and Washington fans, be sure to stop by SB Nation's The Slipper Still Fits and UW Dawg Pound.