We’re gonna finish breaking down each region of the NCAA tournament. Now: the East.
Between the East region and Charlie Sheen, it’s no contest–the East is more loaded. It was the only region with 18 teams, as a result of having two of those damned “First Four” games, and weren’t those a great idea. But while the bracket is top-heavy with big names and competitive teams, half of the remaining sixteen feature coaches with only three tournament appearances or fewer.
Senior leadership matters, people. Greg Anthony said so. Here are the number of seniors starting for each East region team:
1. Ohio State – 3
2. UNC – none
3. Syracuse – 1
4. Kentucky – 1
5. West Virginia – 3
6. Xavier – 2
7. Washington – 2
8. Geo Mason – 1
9. Villanova – 3
10. Georgia – 1
11. Marquette – 2
12. Clemson – 2
13. Princeton – none
14. Indiana State – 1
15. Long Island – 2
16. UT-San Antonio – 1
Potential First-Round Upsets and Non-Upsets. Rated from “Most Potentially Harrowing to Least Potentially Harrowing.”
(10) Georgia over (7) Washington. Just saw that Kentucky finished second in the SEC East, not third. YOU LIED TO ME, GREG! YOU LIED TO US ALL! But Venoy Overton is back in the mix for the Huskies after serving a suspension for supplying alcohol to a minor. I’m quite relieved that no such transgressions like that will happen tonight.
(9) Villanova over (8) George Mason. I think a guy looking to skimp on the research (and if you’re reading this two hours before the games start, you might be that person) would do well to just advance every Big East team on his sheet until it runs into another Big East team. Mason had a 16-game win streak snapped in their league semi-final game to VCU, whom they’d beaten three weeks earlier, and the Patriots really haven’t played anyone else.
Same As It Ever Was. Picks that shouldn’t surprise anybody.
(1) Ohio State over (16) UT-San Antonio. I have to pick Ohio State to win this whole thing. Have to. Everyone’s gushing over what a “complete team” Ohio State is this season. They went 20-0 at home and only lost two games otherwise. Plus, if I don’t pick them and they do win it all, I’ll feel like the biggest dick ever. And for the record, I never write “OSU” or even “tOSU” on my bracket. It’s either OHIO STATE or OHIO ST. You idiots can do whatever you want.
(2) UNC over (15) Long Island. Long Island took the Northeast Conference tournament title; they haven’t lost since January 22. Their opponent was the mighty Red Flash of St. Francis. BUT. THIS. TEAM. WILL. RUN. They average 82 ppg; that’s fourth in all of Division I. It’s silly to think that the Blackbirds could give the ACC regular season champs a game, but the first ten minutes could be interesting.
(6) Xavier over (11) Marquette. To me, Marquette will always be Where Tommy Boy Went To College. It really hurts here. Not here…or here so much…but right here.
(3) Syracuse over (14) Indiana State. The Sycamores are no LeMoyne. This much we know.
Played Out. My picks for the rest of the bracket.
Sweet Sixteen: Ohio State, West Virginia, Xavier, UNC.
Elite Eight: Ohio State, Xavier.
Final Four: Ohio State.