Sweet Sixteen Predictions: East Region
By Guest Blogger Kyle Howard:
After arguably the most erratic 3 rounds of College Basketball, we have 16 teams left. Cinderella stories are still in the works for teams like Richmond, VCU, Butler, Florida St. and to my surprise Marquette. Having covered the East Region of the bracket, I wasn’t sure of how well Marquette was going to perform this year after the season they had. I gave them the benefit of the doubt in the opening game coming from the Big East and it turned into a great upset pick. What I didn’t see coming was the upset over Syracuse. With a lot of hype surrounding VCU and Richmond making these incredible runs, the only real chance to possibly become a national champion is Marquette.
Ohio St. vs. Kentucky, this is a very intriguing matchup. Ohio St has had no close competition this tournment and looks to be a shoe in for the Final Four. Jared Sullinger, possible player of the year will give the Wildcats trouble down low and Aaron Kraft is playing very well this tournment. Kentucky however, does poise a good threat. Kentucky has been in 2 very close games to start the tourney and have really ridden the back of Brandon Knight this tourney. Kentucky is very young and just naive enough to look at a big upset in this tourney.
My pick is Ohio St. I feel they play better team basketball and are more experienced then the Callipari crew. Look for a close game though.
OHIO ST. over Kentucky
Marquette vs. UNC, many people including myself figured this would be a Syracuse vs. UNC matchup that pretty much made or broke your region. Instead we have a possible Cinderella, Marquette, coming off of a big win against Syracuse. I am a big fan of the Big East and many of my friends and followers have been saying that it is overrated, but Marquette is showing that even a team that finished 10th in the Big East is Sweet 16 worth. UNC is coming off a nail bitter against Washington. My player to watch in this Region, Harrison Barnes, has been playing to the level that I had expected, except for the fact Tyler Zeller is stealing the spotlight with a phenominal tournment. Look for UNC to pound the interior with a far superior post game.
Marquette has impressed me this tournment, but I feel that Zeller and Barnes will be able to play to their strengths against a small Marquette squad.This game could either be really close or a marginal victory, but I will take the Tar Heels going to the Elite 8.
UNC over. Marquette