After suffering through an unheard-of three-game losing streak, Kansas figured everything out and all is right with the universe as the Jayhawks should be primed to reach another Sweet 16.The top seed in the South, however, has serious flaws like every other team that could make it to Arlington in hopes of reaching Atlanta and the Final Four. KU is a nice team without what appears to be the type of nasty physical presence of Bill Self’s better teams.Second-seeded Georgetown? It cannot score with the best of them, even with expected lottery pick Otto Porter. Three-seeded Florida can rely too much on the 3, and four-seed Michigan can be pushed around under the glass.“There is no consensus favorite across the bracket, and that goes for the South as well,” CBS/Turner NCAA analyst Clark Kellogg said in a conference call with the media on Sunday evening. “I don’t think any of those teams has distinguished itself, and I couldn’t pull a favorite out of that region. Kansas is the No. 1 seed, but I don’t see a difference between them or Georgetown or Florida.”Thanks, Clark.And with that, here is a crash course in the region that will be coming to Arlington in less than two weeks.Local ties• Justin Wesley, F, Kansas (North Crowley)• David Allen, G, Georgetown (Highland Park)• Caden Dickerson, G, Western Kentucky (Argyle)• Charles Buggs, F, Minnesota (Arlington Martin)• Cameron Clark, G, Oklahoma (Sherman)• Je’lon Hornbeak, G, Oklahoma (Arlington Grace Prep)Top 5 pro prospects Ben McLemore, 6-5, G, Kansas: The likely top pick. Can shoot, put the ball on the floor and finish. He is a second-year “true” freshman, so he can be a bit erratic but might be the best pro prospect in Bill Self’s tenure at KU. Otto Porter, 6-8, F, Georgetown: Top five pick. Can put the ball on the floor and do everything. Averaged 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds. Needs to add weight. Shabazz Muhammad, 6-6, F, UCLA: Top 10 selection. He is a freshman and likely checked out before he stepped on UCLA’s campus. He averages 17.8 points and 5.3 rebounds. A difficult cover 1 on 1 in the college game. Jamaal Franklin, 6-5, F, San Diego State: Will need to develop a consistent outside shot but a dynamic athlete who can penetrate and finish. Patric Young, 6-8, F, Florida: Built like a tank and a guy who can run and rebound. Needs to develop an outside shot.Biggest second-round upset No. 10 Oklahoma over No. 7 San Diego State: As a loss at TCU showed, Oklahoma is vulnerable. But never trust a Steve Fisher-coached team against an opponent that is disciplined. Lon Kruger may not be the world’s greatest coach, but his teams seldom are suckered into a dumb game.Biggest losses Alex Abreu, PG, Akron (suspension): The Zips would have been the best candidate to pull off a first-round upset, but Abreu’s suspension after he was arrested on drug charges earlier this month is a killer. He was averaging more than 10 points and six assists per game. If Abreu were playing, they would be a good bet to defeat No. 5 Virginia Commonwealth. Jordan Adams, G/F, UCLA (injury): Adams is UCLA’s second-leading scorer (15.3 points, 2.2 steals per game), but he suffered a broken foot in the Pac-12 tourney and is out. If UCLA were playing anybody but Minnesota, the Bruins would be vulnerable to a first round loss.How are you here? Minnesota: On Jan. 9, Minnesota was 15-1 and was one of the more impressive teams from a loaded Big Ten. Then they fell apart, leaving coach Tubby Smith to sweat this out. They finished out the season by winning five of their final 16 games and have dropped three straight. They defeated then-No. 1 Indiana on Feb. 26, but this team has no confidence after three straight bad losses against non-tourney teams Nebraska, Purdue and Illinois.X-factor Perry Ellis, 6-8, F, Kansas: For most of the season, the true freshman out of Wichita, Kan., looked lost and like a player who was built on the strength of getting fat against weak high school competition. Since Feb. 23, however, he looks like he is getting it and gives Kansas a versatile inside/outside presence with a little muscle it needs.Bad omenFrom both a proximity and alumni standpoint, top-seed Kansas cashed in big. Its opening-round games are in the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., which is basically a home arena. Cowboys Stadium is about an eight-hour drive from the KC area, and FW/d is one of KU’s largest alumni bases. But the last two times Kansas came to Texas, it left with embarrassing losses — Feb. 6 at TCU in what was one of the biggest upsets in college history; the other was 81-58 at Baylor, which was KU’s worst loss in seven years. Overall, Kansas was 2-2 in Texas this season.All-dad team Michigan: Glenn Robinson III is the son of the original Big Dog from Purdue. Tim Hardaway Jr. does not have his dad’s UTEP two-step move and killer crossover. Both of these guys may not be as good as their famous fathers, but they can play and will get a look in the NBA.Best college players with overrated NBA chances Trey Burke, PG, Michigan: The guy is a killer college point guard who can shoot it from deep (41 percent on 3s), but he is listed as 6-foot, which means he is likely 5-10. You can be a 6-0 scoring point guard in college but not in the league. Jeff Withey, C, Kansas: He is a legit 7-0 and can block shots. That alone will get him in the NBA, but for the league he is too slow and stiff. Think Roy Hibbert.Best team’s biggest weaknessEvery team in this bunch has a serious flaw, but Michigan is a team that is too 3-heavy and can be pushed around underneath. UM coach John Beilein loves the 3-point shot, and his team shoots the ball at a 48 percent rate, but if that shot is not falling there is no great inside option.Coach who really needs two wins Ben Howland, UCLA: It makes zero sense that a guy who got his team to three consecutive Final Fours from 2006-08 would be in this discussion, but this is UCLA, where those fools want to think the late John Wooden would have won just as many titles today as he did back then. Howland has a buyout of $2.3 million, and if you read a recent report in the Los Angeles Times, the powerful people in Westwood are pooling their money to make him go away if this tourney is a dud.Best potential matchups No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 8 North Carolina: KU alums are over how Roy Williams left their program thanks largely to the beat- down it put on Roy’s team in the 2008 Final Four in San Antonio en route to a national title under Bill Self. This is one of Williams’ weaker teams and probably not quite good enough to win this matchup.Predicted regional finalNo. 1 Kansas vs. No. 3 Florida (this means No. 13 South Dakota State will play No. 14 Northwestern State).South regional championFlorida. Whatever you do, do not bet with this pick.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @MacEngelProf