A Preview of the East Region

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 11: Rameses, the mascot for the North Carolina Tar Heels, is seen during the second half against the Miami Hurricanes in the quarterfinals of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 11, 2011 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Big Ten teams in region: There is only one Big Ten team in the East Region, but it is the best team. THE Ohio State Buckeyes.  They have to deal with one of the play-in-game 16 seeds.  The Buckeyes isn’t the only talented bunch in this region, as this may be the most talented region of all when it comes to future NBA prospects. 

Which Big Ten team is likely to go the farthest in the region: Well, since there is only one team, I’m guessing the answer has to be Ohio State.  This team is most likely of all the B10 teams to make it to Austin and to the Final Four.  After they take care of business in Cleveland, which includes a second round battle between either George Mason or Villanova, the Buckeyes most likely will take on a very good group of players at Kentucky.  Overall, this Ohio State has about a 55 percent chance of getting to the Final Four.  So, be hopeful Buckeyes…Thad Matta may be taking you to the promise land.

Most likely upset: Almost everyone is already revealing that Marquette is going to trump over Xavier because of the type of play that Marquette has to play in the Big East while the Musketeers play in an Atlantic 10 conference that people downplay.  If you need help in your bracket, don’t trust that upset.  Xavier is a very good ballclub and led by Tu Holloway.  The only thing that this game has for it for a reason for an upset is that Gus Johnson is calling the game.  A real upset could be at the 5/12.  West Virginia’s longest win streak this season is 4.  It’s an inconsistent team that relies heavily on the fantastic coaching by Bob Huggins.  The Mountaineers will go against the winner of the UAB Blazers and the Clemson Tigers.  In my opinion, Clemson is such a polarizing team because they have fantastic team.  Two of the three times they lost to North Carolina is by a combined five points. 

Most intriguing first round matchup: Although I just stated that I like Xavier to win its game, that contest versus Marquette is the most intriguing because of the one thing I mentioned.  The Law of Gus Johnson will surely come into effect during the game. 

 

Most intriguing possible later round matchup:  Ohio State vs. North Carolina.  Personally, these teams match-up with each other very well.  Sullinger will be matched up with two forwards that can play sturdy defense and don’t allow easy buckets.  Kendall Marshall will be face guarded the entire night by possibly the best defender of the Big Ten in Aaron Craft.   NBA scouts will scurry to this game and just drool over the potential of the likes of William Buford and Harrison Barnes. 

Best potential storyline: George Mason.  The original Cinderella still wears its shoe every night it goes to bed.  The Patriots are solely known for that amazing Final Four run.  Well, this team is even better.  If they can somehow take down powerhouse Ohio State, it’s easily the best story. 

Most likely to win region: Ohio State.  They are the number one overall seed in the tournament and have been playing the best basketball this season over any other team out there.

Team in the region that got a raw deal: It’s another answer that has to be Ohio State because the eight and nine seeds in this region are easily the best two teams of the bunch.  The Patriots and the Villanova Wildcats have faced the competition and have proved that they can/will be a tough out for any team.  If the Buckeyes can take down that group, they will have to face teams with enormous potential in Kentucky and North Carolina

Best team mascot: The Long Island Sheens. This is the hardest question because there are so many good choices.  If you are going by actual mascot, I’m 100 percent completely biased.  Growing up a Tar Heel fan, Ramsey is such a cool and awesome mascot.  He’s a tough ram that struts around the court knowing that he can take on any other mascot out there.  If you are going by name, I’m going to be the Sycamores of Indiana State.  Besides Larry Bird and John Wooden, no one knows alum from Indiana State. Just imagine Bird telling his family and friends that he is going to be a Sycamore in college and wonder why the mascot is a fox and not a fichus.

Feel-good story of region: I’m answering this solely based on my bias towards North Carolina.  After the dismal NIT run a year ago, the expectations were high for the Tar Heels, but they were not matched early on.  Once Larry Drew III walked out on the team, the Heels found a new identity and a spark lit a fire.  North Carolina ended up being the ACC regular season champions and a complete turnaround from a season earlier. 

Intriguing personality of region: I’m going to go with Aaron Craft because of his fantastic singing ability.   

Party in the O-S-U (via OhioStateBuckeyescom)

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