NCAA Tournament Preview: East

Posted: 03/21/2013 by levcohen in NCAA

The tournament has started, but I’m not done previewing. Luckily, just two East games have started to go along with zero South games.

East: The East region is headed by the team that was considered the best team in basketball for most of the regular season: the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana ended up with the #3 overall seed, but I think they are as likely as anyone one seed to make the tournament, if only because of the opposition they might face. I’ve gotten the sense that #2 seed Miami is overrated, as 73% of people think that they will advance to the elite eight. I think they might, but, again, it’s more a function of the weak teams in the bracket. I’m confident that Miami will not beat Indiana. The three seed, Marquette, is the weakest three seed. Syracuse isn’t as strong as they have been in the past. The list goes on.

#1 Indiana vs. #16 James Madison: At least JMU won a play-in game over the Long Island Blackbirds. Indiana will put up a ton of points in this game.

#2 Miami vs. #15 Pacific: I do think this game will be fairly close, but I don’t hate Miami that much.

#3 Marquette vs. #14 Davidson: These teams are actually very evenly matched, despite the seed difference. This is one of the games that has started, and is 25-23 at halftime. Let’s go all in and take Davidson to pull it out.

#4 Syracuse vs. #13 Montana: Syracuse seems susceptible to an early upset, but I don’t think Montana can deliver that upset. Never know though.

#5 UNLV vs. #12 California: I think this is going to be a blowout between an up tempo team (UNLV) and a team without many weapons (Cal). UNLV plays great defense, so the only way Cal will win is if they can force turnovers. They are outside the top 300 in terms of forcing turnovers.

#6 Butler vs. #11 Bucknell: In a completed game, Butler won. I think Butler could have been upset by a better shooting team, but Bucknell is sort of an all around solid team, and those types of teams rarely upset better teams like Butler. The ones that have success are the extremely good shooting teams or bad offensive teams that are great at forcing turnovers.

#7 Illinois vs. #10 Colorado: I honestly have no idea who will win this game, so I’ll go with the Big 10 team, although I do know that Illinois is much better at home then they are away from home. Still, I’m hoping one of these teams can beat Miami. I’m skeptical.

#8 NC State vs. #9 Temple: The public is picking this as if NC State was much better, with NC State favored by a 65-35 margin. I do think State is better, but I think Temple is being underrated here, so I’ll pick them just because of that.

For straight up picks, I like all the better seeds in this one besides Marquette. As for value picks, I like Colorado (it’s a toss-up and they are seeded worse), Temple and Davidson.

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