Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sportz Assassin's East Region Preview

TEAM TO BEAT: Syracuse. They've lost just twice all year, are very deep and provide matchup problems all over the place. I know there are people who are falling off their bandwagon due to their lack of blowing teams out, but this is a really good team.

TEAM THAT WILL WIN THE REGION: Syracuse. There are a lot of people picking against the Orange. Ohio State has the talent, Florida State has the toughness and Vanderbilt has the momentum. But the Orange will advance down the New Orleans.

TEAM TO WATCH FOR (LESS THAN A NO. 3 SEED): Vanderbilt. The Commodores have outstanding talent and were a top team early this season. While Vandy hasn't lived up to it, their trio of games against Kentucky (including their win over the Wildcats in the SEC final) showed they can play with anyone in the nation. This team could go far.

YOUR CINDERELLA: Montana. They are hot (winning 14 straight) and have a favorable matchup against Wisconsin. They could beat either Vandy or Harvard and sneak into the Sweet 16.

WORST SEEDING ERROR: Harvard. This is a bit of a stretch since I really think the seeding in this region is outstandingly accurate. Still, Harvard could say that they deserved to be seeded better than Texas or West Virginia. Really, no complaints.

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: Syracuse. The Cuse get to spend the first weekend in Big East country (Pittsburgh). The next weekend would be in Boston. If Harvard could sneak into the Sweet 16, it would be awesome to see them play at home.

MUST WATCH GAME: Cincinnati vs Texas. This may just be a personal interest for me since there are several nice matchups (Wisconsin-Montana, Vandy-Harvard). But Cincy looked pretty good in the Big East tournament by beating G'town and Syracuse. Texas is so young yet so talented that you just don't know how they'll respond to the Big Dance.

MUST WATCH (POTENTIAL) SECOND ROUND GAME: Syracuse vs Kansas State. K-State is a fierce rebounding team and Syracuse struggles with that. The Orange could be the first of the No. 1 seeds to go down.

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