2018 NCAA Tournament: East Region Capsule
The 2018 NCAA Tournament brackets are out! The brackets are out! The NCAA tournament is the single greatest spectacle in American Sports. Yeah, the World Series is fun to watch, but it rarely has the chaos involved in the NCAA tournament. Daytona 500? Yeah, it’s a historic event, but they are still driving in a circle. The Super Bowl? Don’t even get me started on what a farce that is. The first four days of the NCAA tournament are better than any drama anywhere for the rest of the year! Enjoy it!
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For those of you that do the bracket games, I will unveil all of my picks by Wednesday night. For those of you that play the round by round games, I will also put my picks out there after every round as well. There will be something for everyone!
In the preview, I will give you a favorite, and dark horse team (which would be a four seed or higher than could win the region), a team to watch for, overseeded and underseeded teams, and of course, a double digit seed most likely to win one or more games.
We will get started with the East regional!
Favorite: Villanova. Once again, the Wildcats are the top seed in the East. Say they don’t deserve it. I dare you. The Wildcats won at Gonzaga and beat fellow number one seed Xavier twice. All five starters and their sixth man average double digit points per game. If you stop Jalen Brunson, there are plenty of others that can get going. There are some strong teams in this region, but the Wildcats look primed for another Final Four run.
Watch out for: Purdue. The formula for Purdue remains the same: recruit a bunch of huge guys and teach them how to shoot. Carsen Edwards and Dakota Mathias are great long range shooters. Isaac Haas is a load in the middle. That kind of size is going to be very difficult for anyone to deal with. Cal State Fullerton is a decent team, but they wont be able to handle Haas. I have my doubts that Villanova can either.
Dark Horse: Texas Tech. This is a team that waltzed into Allen Fieldhouse and beat Kansas earlier this season. The Red Raiders struggled down the stretch, but they are another one of those Big 12 teams that are talented enough to beat anyone if they get hot. They are also inconsistent enough to lose in the first round.
Begging To Be Upset: Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have lost five of the last seven, and they got a terrible draw in the first round. Stephen F. Austin ousted a three seeded Big 12 team in their last tournament appearance in 2016. However, the similarities end there. This version of SFA doesn’t have a do everything player like Thomas Walkup was to that 2016 team. I do think that Tech struggles in this game, but they would really have to play their worst game of the season to lose outright. However, it gets tricky after the first game.
Overseeded: Purdue. Someone needs to explain to me how Purdue, a team that didn’t win the Big Ten(14) regular season title or the conference tournament, got a better seed and much better draw than Michigan State. The Spartans should be on this line, not Purdue.
Underseeded: West Virginia. This is a team that beat Virginia out of conference, and beat Texas Tech and Oklahoma twice in conference. The Mountaineers are being punished too much for a loss at Iowa State and three losses to Kansas.
Cinderella: Marshall. There are a couple of teams that I could see winning a game or two here. I also like St. Bonaventure to beat Florida. Butler has a legitimate shot at Purdue in the second round. However, I choose Marshall because there are historic implications here. First off, the Herd have never won a NCAA tournament game. They haven’t even been there since 1987. Next, there is a good chance that Wichita State is a bit overseeded. And finally, the name. Dan D’Antoni. Sound familiar? He is the older brother of Mike D’Antoni, the guy who turned the NBA into a track meet. Dan is doing the same at Marshall. The Herd average 84.3 points per game, which is 12th in the nation. Even if the Herd don’t win, they are going to be a blast to watch!
Come back for all of the regional capsules, the picks for the First Four, and of course, the bracket picks!