Tuesday, 13 March 2007

NCAA Tournament Prediction: East Region

Midwest | West | EAST | South | Final Four


(picks in bold)

(1) North Carolina vs. (16) Eastern Kentucky
Eastern Kentucky played a great game to get by Austin Peay... and earn the right to get throttled by the Tar Heels.

(8) Marquette vs. (9) Michigan St.
Tough game to pick, but my decision was made easier when I heard that Marquette's leading scorer and best defender, Jerel McNeal, would be done for the entire Tournament. Couple that with the recent struggles of Dominic James, and the Spartans are the pick.

(5) USC vs. (12) Arkansas
I can see how Arkansas can keep this close because they do have superior big men, but I think USC will have too many playmakers. I don't think the Razorbacks will be able to handle Gabe Pruitt, Nick Young, and Taj Gibson.

(4) Texas vs. (13) New Mexico St.
New Mexico St. is a very good team, they just have one problem... trying to stop this Durant fella.

(6) Vanderbilt vs. (11) George Washington
This is another upset I'm picking but I'm not totally confident about. Still, I like the way the Colonials are playing, and Vandy is struggling a little. I think GW will be able to force some turnovers and get some easy baskets.

(3) Washington St. vs. (14) Oral Roberts
Oral Roberts is perhaps the most trendy upset pick of them all, but wait a minute here. I know they beat Kansas, but they also have 10 losses (aka they're not Winthropesque). Also, let's not forget that Washington St. is a solid club. Perhaps a little overseeded, but they're great defensively, and they take good shots on the offensive end. I think they're getting the short end of the stick here.

(7) Boston College vs. (10) Texas Tech
I think this is a bad matchup for TT... Bob Knight wouldn't be caught dead playing zone defense, and they have nobody that can handle Jared Dudley. I'm certainly not crazy about BC, but I think Dudley will have a huge game en route to a round 1 win.

(2) Georgetown vs. (15) Belmont
Belmont gets in as a 15 seed for the second straight year, and once again they lose to the team that eventually loses in the title game. (PREVIEW THERE!)


(1) North Carolina vs. (9) Michigan St.
I love Izzo and the Spartans, but they have no chance of slowing down the pace enough and scoring enough to beat North Carolina.

(4) Texas vs. (5) USC
Taj Gibson could be a tough matchup for Kevin Durant, but I think Durant will score enough to win. But this game will be a lot closer than you think.

(3) Washington St. vs. (11) George Washington
GW will need to force a lot of turnovers, but Washington St. takes care of the ball... plus, the Colonials will have a lot of trouble scoring in the half court against WaSt.

(2) Georgetown vs. (7) Boston College
An old-school Big East game, but BC is coming into a gunfight with knives. Dudley, Rice, and Marshall are all very good, but who else is going to score? Who is going to stop GTown from scoring at will down low? If Sean Williams was playing, I'd like BC's chances a lot more. Of course, Williams isn't playing. I like the Hoyas.


(1) North Carolina vs. (4) Texas
This is a game that could get close to the 100s, and Durant could get 40-50 points with the style of play and lack of a quality defender to guard him. However, UNC is really deep and can get scoring from a lot of different places, Texas doesn't really have that right now. If Augustin or Abrams isn't knocking down shots, well, Durant is going to need closer to 60 for Texas to hang with the Tar Heels.

(2) Georgetown vs. (3) Washington St.
Another intriguing matchup because both teams are solid defensively and like to slow the pace down... basically the opposite of UNC/Texas. Still, I think the Hoyas are more talented and more efficient offensively.


(1) North Carolina vs. (2) Georgetown
Tough pick here, but I think the Hoyas will be able to dictate some of the tempo and slow North Carolina down. If the Tar Heels aren't running and getting fast break points, they can get a little bogged down in the halfcourt, and I think the Hoyas can do that to them. Plus, UNC can get impatient defensively, and that plays right into the Hoyas hands. I like Georgetown to beat North Carolina and win the regional.


Midwest | West | EAST | South | Final Four