Home > Current Updates > Bracket Bits: East Region

Bracket Bits: East Region

Dave2015The East Region includes three teams who reached the top-line of the projected bracket at one point during the season: Michigan, Texas and Alabama.  One of the biggest question marks is the health of Michigan’s Isaiah Livers.  He is a difference maker for the Wolverines.  They won’t need him for game one, but could have issues with LSU in game two if the Tigers advance.

Favorite: Michigan
Next in Line: Alabama
Darkhorse: Maryland
The enigmatic Terrapins have some impressive victories, most notably at Illinois.  Eric Ayala and Darryl Morsell are big, athletic guards that can get to the rim and create havoc for opponents.  It’s really about defense, though.  When the Terps are dialed in, they are a tough out.
Best chance for an upset:
(12) Georgetown over (5) Colorado – the Hoyas are fresh off a Big East tournament title and have actually been playing good basketball for almost a month, having won 8 of 10 games.  While the Buffalos can be really good, they are also prone to upsets – losing this season to the Pac-12’s two worst teams: California and Washington.  Even in a disrupted season, Colorado’s best non-league win was Grand Canyon.
Next best chance for an upset:
(11) Michigan State over (6) BYU – The Cougars are really good and three of their six losses are to Gonzaga. But considering they only have two wins against teams in the Field, BYU might be a little over-seeded.  It’s hard to know which version of Michigan State shows up – and the Spartans struggled away from home – but let’s not forget that MSU wouldn’t be in the Field had it not beaten Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan down the stretch.
Best Storyline: Iona
Lots of options, but Rick Pitino is back in the NCAA tournament with the Gaels.
Best opening-round matchup: (8) LSU vs. (9) St. Bonaventure
It’s all about tempo. LSU wants to make it an up-and-down track meet and has the talent to compete with anyone – just replay the SEC title game.  The Bonnies want to control tempo and make it a half-court grinder.  Whoever wins that battle probably advances, but this one has Madness written all over it.
Best bet to get to the Final Four: Texas
This pick depends a lot on the health of Livers.  If he can play, even at say 80 percent, the Wolverines have all the tools to reach Lucas Oil Stadium.  If not, it’s less certain.  And a potential battle between Alabama and Texas in the Sweet 16 might be one for the ages.  After enduring a rough few seasons in Austin, perhaps this is Shaka Smart’s triumphant return to the Final Four.

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