NCAA Tournament Bracket Pix: East Zone
Georgetown is back. Well, Hoys isn’t back to being that Georgetown, but he’s got a guy who looks a little like Alan Iverson on the floor (freshman guard Dainty Harris) and a guy who looks like Patrick Ewing on the bench (because he Patrick Ewing, now head coach). And he pulled off a miraculous Big East tournament run to go from 9-12 to 13-12 on the regular season and sit on the No. 12 seed line in the NCAAs. This is the tournament’s first schedule since 2015. It was the first Big East tournament title since 2007. And it has a huge sense of recognition for Ewing, whose team finished last in the Big East after talented players like James. Akinjo and Mac McLung moved out during the previous season.
MORE MARCH MADNESS: TV Schedule | Printable bracket | Difference
Best first round game
No. 8 LSU vs. No. 9 St. Bonventure. The Bonnies still lost only four times this season, with their season shortened to a standstill that wiped out most of the pre-game play. They play an efficient brand of ball that emphasizes control and ball movement. It will be interesting to see how they handle an LSU team whose defensive apathy usually causes opponents to speed up their game, which is what the Tigers want them to do, as some have to remain competitive. Required shelling. What you need to know about the difference in styles is that LSU has three players (Cameron Thomas, Jevont Smart and Trendon Watford) who score more than the Boney’s leader (Kyle Lofton).
Seed too much
No. 4 Florida State. The Semi-Qualls wound up 3-4 against Quad 1 opponents following their disappointing late-season fall. And his initial loss to No. 103 UCF never disappeared. He made two championships in a week. The first occurred when they failed to get a defensive stop and allowed Notre Dame to score 83 points with the ACC regular season title on the line for FSU. The second happened on Saturday when he committed 25 turnovers and capitalized against the Georgia Tech side that any of us might come uninvited, but now he could call himself the ACC champion.
Seed too low
No. 11 Michigan State. This is the second consecutive NCAA tournament, which included the Spartans, one of the committee’s most potent bots. It was first discredited in the 2019 tournament when he was assigned the No. 2 seed in the East Region (which included No. 1 overall seed Duke and superstar Sion Williamson) instead of the Midwest (which did not) because it was 120 miles from East Lansing. The single location in D.C.’s close to 2021 (Indiana) meant that we could expect to avoid such rhetoric, and generally we were. But keeping the Spartans in the first four games with UCLA, with less accomplished teams such as Utah State and Syracuse, means zero straight into the first round. Neither of those teams was exceptional, but MSU netted No. 3 Illinois, No. 4 Michigan and No. 8 Ohio State. There are teams on the No. 2 seed line who cannot win those wins. Syracuse won a single Quad 1 game and held that its only opportunities came in road games, such that it was forbidden to win at least one more. Utah State’s only win against the field came in a home series against No. 7 San Diego State. This is a shocking one.
No. 11 Michigan State at No. 6 BYU. No one is telling what the Spartans team will show from game to game, and this is partly because no one knows which five people will be on the floor. He has 11 players averaging at least nine minutes. It is good to know that your team has depth. It would also be nice to know that you have five trusted people. But they still showed the ability to really excel in the game when guard Rocket Watts is finding his shot and coach Tom Izzo finds the right combination of players.
Best possible game
No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 8 LSU. The Tigers rank 125th in defensive efficiency. Michigan likes to play a quick game and should sit right in that approach. How effective the Wolverines would be without star forward Isaiah Liver was not fully set up in Saturday’s Big Ten semifinal game against Isaiah State, in which they lost but only fell from a bucket when they competed inside the final 30 Chose to play the last shot. Seconds. All the more reason to believe that this can be a terrible place for 40 minutes of basketball.
Best possible player matchup
Alabama guard John Petty vs. Connecticut guard James Boocnut. There is no more dynamic guard in the tournament than Buchen, who can defend with his deep shooting along with swimming above the rim for a thrilling finish. Paytm has not developed as an elite scorer, but he knows how to play, knows and understands his role beautifully. Their intersection can be dazzling.
WEST | South | MIDWEST
UNC Greensboro Coach Wes Miller. He played for North Carolina’s 2005 NCAA Championship team and is making his second NCAA tournament appearance with the Spartans, with which he has won three Southern Conference regular season titles. He holds a 185–134 record in 10 seasons and has won 20 or more games and 13 or more SoCon games in each of the last five seasons. We tell you all this because a lot of coaches are losing their jobs this spring, and it would make sense to give Miller a good look at those programs. Will he be interested, or will he wait until Roy Williams retires from North Carolina?
Do not be surprised if. . .
Michigan writer Franz Wagner finally emerged as the star he is capable of becoming. With Isaiah Liver without being injured, Wolverine would not advance to the title without anyone taking over and handling the production he had given. Wagner has been given the material to play the total floor game – rebounding, defending, coming up with turnovers. But he has the potential to serve as an elite scorer, something he has not yet adopted. In the semi-finals of the Big Ten, he apparently did not accept that he dropped out. That can not be. ever. Wegner, who gave up three games of 19 or more points in a four-game stretch, is the guy who can lead Michigan to the Final Four.
Number 5 Colorado. So many people are going to take Georgetown because they like the idea of a relevant Georgetown, or they saw how awesome Hoyes used to play in the Big East tournament, but Colorado still has a lot to recommend as a basketball team Have lost a few and only Pac 12 titles. By double digits, a day when the buffalo did not play well. Point guard McKinley Wright is a prolific leader and playwright. Evan Battey is a wide body that makes it difficult to move forward in the post. Colorado may surprise all of us.
Last four pick
Alabama. Yes, it seems unfair for the Tide to play at the national championship level in both football and basketball, but they can be symbiotic. There was a time when it was believed that coaches in the largest football playing schools did not even have time to make the assumption that basketball is worthwhile, but they have come around to the idea that recruiting football in a basketball game Can be brought there. There is enthusiasm for the school and a fun atmosphere for those wanting to get involved. And Football Weekend has always been huge for hoops recruits. So Alabama can be great at both, especially if it has people like Jehon Queenerly, Herbert Jones and John Petty. It is the most talented and experienced team to last long.