East Region Preview
March 14, 2011
Here is a preview of the East Region and the odds for each team at 5Dimes to win the NCAA Tournament.
Ohio State (6/1) is the top seed in the East and they come into the Big Dance playing well, as they won the Big 10 AND the Big 10 conference tournament. The Buckeyes have a good inside/outside game and they play good D, but can a team make it to the Final 4 that only ranks 195th in the nation in rebounds per game?
Second seed North Carolina (21/1) may be a good bet, as they ended the season well and beat Duke to win the ACC. They are the best rebounding team in the nation and are also one of the more athletic teams. The Tar Heels may go far, but besides maybe having to play Ohio State in the regional finals they face a dangerous Washington squad in a likely second round game.
Both third seed Syracuse (27/1) and fourth seed Kentucky (17.5/1) have a good shot to make it out of the East. Syracuse plays a great all-around game and they played in the tough Big East where they won six of their last games before losing in the semis of the conference tournament beating three ranked teams in the process. Kentucky won the SEC title game and they have a great duo on G Brandon Knight and F Terrence Jones, who can both drain the 3.
Maybe With a Little Luck
Fifth seed West Virginia (116/1) fell in the Big Dance seeding process by being upset in their first game in the Big East tournament. The Mountaineers have a good team and they are tough, but speaking of tough they will probably face a hot Kentucky team in the second round.
Seventh seed Washington (46/1) may be a big sleeper in this bracket even though I am putting them in the “little luck” category. The Huskies won the Pac 10 tournament and they are the third highest scoring team in the nation. They have a great inside/outside game with G Isaiah Thomas and F Matthew Bryan-Amaning and if they can get by Georgia in the first round they have a shot to upset North Carolina in the second round.
A couple of the sleepers in this region come from the Big East in ninth seed Villanova (156/1) and 11th seed Marquette (151/1). Each beat some high ranked teams this season and each is dangerous. Xavier (251/1) is the sixth seed and while they won the Atlantic 10 they only faced one ranked team this season and they lost that game.