Commentary

Giant Killing in the South

There's no sure bet, but four games deserve real consideration

Updated: March 15, 2010, 5:37 PM ET
By Jordan Brenner and Peter Keating | ESPN Insider

We hit on the East earlier today; now we move on to the South Regional. As we promised in the Giant Killers blog, today we begin detailed breakdowns of all the first-round games with GK implications. In case you've forgotten, a Giant Killer is a team that beats an opponent seeded at least five spots better and doesn't come from a BCS conference. Other teams -- Gonzaga, Butler, BYU, Xavier, Northern Iowa and Temple -- are excluded, too. Check out our methodology for a full explanation. Our model generates statistical ratings that compare potential Giant Killers to past Davids as well as all Giants to the Goliaths who were slain. Those ratings enable us to predict the chances of an upset in each matchup -- and this year looks like a doozy. In the South, no team qualifies for "Best Bet" status, but there are four teams bidding for upsets worthy of deep analysis (and two Giants who look totally safe).

Jordan Brenner | email

ESPN The Magazine contributing writer
Brenner writes for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Insider. He covers the NBA and college basketball.
Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. He started writing "The Biz," a column looking at sports business from the fan's point of view, in 1999. He also coordinates the Magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" project, which ranks all pro franchises according to how much they give back to fans. His work on concussions in football has earned awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club and the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.