East Regional Preview

19 Mar

East Region

Indiana may have not gotten the luxury of the Midwest region and a trip to Indianapolis but they are the #1 seed in the East and the region with the most intriguing 2nd round games of any of the four regions in the tournament.

Intriguing 2nd round games

Truth be told I believe 6 of the 8 games in this region have coin flip possibilities.

#4 Syracuse (26-9) vs. #13 Montana (25-6) 9:57pm Thursday San Jose

Beating the Syracuse zone it is important to have guys that can make shots, and even without injured leading scorer Matthias Ward Montana still has 2 guys that can in guards Kareem Jamar and Will Cherry who average over 28 points a game.  The combo also leads the team in rebounding and assists.

#6 Butler (26-8) vs. #11 Bucknell (28-5) 12:40pm Thursday Lexington

I guess you can say you’ve made it as a program when you lose to the conference champion twice, the runner up and suffer a 4-point loss at home, but win 10 games since the beginning of February and you seem like an NCAA afterthought.   That’s where Brad Stevens and Butler find themselves as the face a trendy upset pick in Bucknell.  The Bison is a veteran squad led by senior center double-double machine Mike Muscala who could give the Bulldogs fits inside.

Anticipated 3rd round game

#4 Syracuse (26-9) vs. #5 UNLV (25-9) Saturday San Jose

If they both win their first games the Runnin’ Rebels have the athleticism to take out the Orange.  If UNLV can make shots and stay in transition to keep Syracuse out of their patented zone .  One other thing that could go the Rebels favor in this potential game is their front court depth of Anthony Bennett, Mike Moser, Khem Birch and Quintrell Thomas being able to battle Baye Keita and Rakeem Christmas of Syracuse.

In-game Match-up to watch

#7 Illinois (22-12) vs. #10 Colorado (21-11) 4:40pm Friday Austin

March Success is so much about guard play and this game has two good back courts.  Illinois’ senior set of D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul’s 29 points a game against Colorado’s sophomore pair of Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie who average 28 points a game.    Whichever backcourt gets a better handle defensively will go a long way in deciding this game.

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