Breaking Down the East Region

Steve O Speak

Tee Minus 24 Hours til Mayhem strikes the NCAA world. Let me break down the East bracket for you. The East Bracket is very competitive and very tricky to pick. With overall #1 Ohio St. leading the way. I see Ohio St. and Syracuse making it to the Elite 8 and Ohio St. pulling through to make it into the Final Four. Ohio St faces no real threatening opponent until the Sweet 16 with Kentucky, which will be a battle that could be the downfall of Ohio St. I feel Ohio St. has superior shooting and more experience then the young and talented Wildcat Squad. The Orange Men will have a tough time to make it to the Elite 8, relying heavily on experience to take down a possible sleeper team in Marquette or the likes of Xavier. Then go on to play a young and talented UNC squad. Experience will prevail in this battle and with Jim Boehiem’s zone defense making it difficult for the Tar Heels to disperse the ball. I see Cuse going into the Elite 8 but, falling short to the Buckeyes.

The East is filled with potential bracket busters with seeds higher than 5. Boiling it down to 1 team is tricky but, I will go with the Clemson Tigers #12 seed being a very dangerous in this bracket. Even though I have them losing in the first round to West Virginia, Clemson can be a tough team coming off a impressive ACC tourney run. If the Tigers get by West Virginia and face Kentucky, look for the Tigers to give the Wildcats some trouble. The one area that Clemson has on the Wildcats is experience, and they could just have enough to make a run into the Sweet 16.

The unamious decision on the top player in this bracket and possibly the whole tournment is Jared Sullinger but, I am going with someone else to watch out for, Harrison Barnes. Barnes was the top recruit in the country coming into this year and as of the last month is playing as good as anyone in the country. He has turned himself into a leader on a very young and talented squad. Coming off an impressive 40 point performance in an overtime win against Clemson, look for UNC’s destiny to ride on the back of Harrison Barnes.

My take on Winners of the East Bracket First Round:

(1)Ohio St. over (16)UTSA

(9) Villanova over (8) Mason

(5) WVU over (12) Clemson

(4) Kentucky over (13) Princeton

(11) Marquette over (6) Xavier

(3) Syracuse over (14) Indiana St.

(7) Washington over (10) Georgia

(2) UNC over (15) LIU-Brook


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