East Region Breakdown and Analysis…
2009 NCAA Tournament East Region Bracket Seeding
1 – Pittsburgh, 2 – Duke, 3 – Villanova, 4 – Xavier,
5 – Florida State, 6 – UCLA, 7 – Texas, 8 – Oklahoma State,
9 – Tennessee, 10 – Minnesota, 11 – VCU, 12 – Wisconsin,
13 – Portland St., 14 – American, 15 – Binghamton, 16 – E. Tenn St.
On the night of March 19th, these teams will begin their journey on their way to a potential National Championship run in Detroit on April 6th. Compared to the other regions in the tournament and the opportunity for the #1 seed (in this case, Pittsburgh) to make it to the Final Four, I rank the East Region as the #1 TOUGHEST bracket out of the field.
Finally, my boys’ bracket. And yes, now I will be bias, “ridiculous” as many of you like to call me, and idealistic. LET’S GO DUKE, LET’S GO DUKE! Obviously, I have my regional winner as Duke here. Yea yea yea, I know you think I’m stupid, but hey, at least I’ve been realistic and honest about the rest of the regionals right?!? Anyways, this will be a tough stretch of games for anyone to get out of the region and make it to Detroit for the final four. The “popular” pick out of the East is Pittsburgh. They have been “big” all year long and have really dominated a lot of teams they have played. As many analysts say, Pittsburgh is a team full of “men.” And you can agree with this…just take a look at Sam Young. The guy looks like he’s 40. Either way, DeJuan Blair is arguably the most dominant inside presence in the country. Averaging almost 20 points and 20 rebounds a game, ESPECIALLY in Big East play is absolutely nuts. What a beast…I like them to do their part and eventually lose to my Dukies in the Elite 8. In the 8-9 game, I like Tennesse’s fast paced offense against a bigger OK State team who has not been that impressive all year but did just enough to get into the tournament. Now, in the 5-12 game, I am not calling an upset. I really like Florida State and Toney Douglas out of the ACC. They’ve been playing great as of late and really pushed Duke in the ACC championship in Hot-lanta. Their size and Douglas’ leadership gives them a major edge in the tourney. Wisconsin’s typically slow and methodical play will be overmatched by a much more aggressive Seminole squad. In the 4-13, I like Xavier here based solely on experience in the tourney. They are well coached and have great guard play.
Now, at the bottom of the bracket, look for Duke to take care of business against Binghamton and Texas to down Minnesota. In a major upset, I like the stubborn and experienced squad from VCU to take UCLA to the buzzer and pull out the win. UCLA, like the rest of the Pac-10, has not been that impressive to watch all year long and honestly they’re just not that good. Not like last year anyways….man do they miss Kevin Love. However, after VCU pulls the upset, I like Scottie Reynolds and his Wildcats to take care of business in their games, including a first round punisher against American, and meet Duke (who will then beat Texas) in the Sweet 16. I like Florida State to overmatch Xavier simply in size and move on to face Pitt in the Sweet 16. This will be a bruiser of big guys and slow play, but I like Pittsburgh again here. So, your Elite 8 matchup is Duke vs. Pittsburgh. Many would call this David vs. Goliath. Duke looks to have no chance because of no inside presence. But, it looks a lot better on paper when you compare the two. Duke is more high-scoring, has a better defense, and if they actually hit shots, they’d stand a chance to pull out the victory. Coach K’s experience has to be an advantage at some point right? Then would be the perfect time……LET’S GO DUKE!
Ok folks, get out your brackets…
2009 EAST REGION PREDICTIONS
Sleeper teams to win at least one game: VCU, Florida State, and Tennessee
Most intriguing team to watch: Florida State (can they compete as well outside of the ACC?)
Biggest regional upset: VCU to upset UCLA in the 1st Round
1st Round Winners: Duke, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Florida State, Xavier, VCU, Villanova, Texas, Duke
2nd Round Winners: Duke, Pittsburgh, Florida State, VCU
East Region Sweet 16 Winners: Duke and Pittsburgh
East Region Elite 8 Winner: Duke Blue Devils
OUT OF THE EAST REGION, Duke WILL REPRESENT THE FIELD IN DETROIT AT THE FINAL FOUR