NCAA Tournament 2014: East Region Predictions

NCAA Tournament: Predicting the East Region

3/17/14 in NCAABB   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

Mar 15, 2014; Greensboro, NC, USA; Virginia Cavaliers guard Justin Anderson (1) high fives Virginia Cavaliers forward Akil Mitchell (25) after their 51-48 victory over Pittsburgh Panthers in the semifinals of the ACC college basketball tournament at Greensboro Coliseum.  Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY SportsWe continue our dissection of the 2014 NCAA tournament bracket by taking a look at the East Region, which is highlighted by the Virginia Cavaliers and Villanova Wildcats.

But, will either of those teams make the trip to Arlington to the Final Four? They'll have to go through some stiff competition first.

Third-seeded Iowa State and fourth-seeded Michigan State may have something to say about that. The Big Ten and Big 12 were arguably the two best conferences in college basketball this season, so it would be foolish to discount the conference tournament champions from these two leagues.

Other intriguing teams include Cincinnati and North Carolina, both of whom have the makeup to make a deep run in the tournament.

With all that in mind, let's make a prediction as to who will rule supreme in the East.

Quick Thoughts
  • The final #1 seed likely came down to Virginia and Villanova, and both have interesting paths to try and get to the Final Four. The Cavaliers have potentially difficult matchups with Memphis and Michigan State, and Nova has either Iowa State or North Carolina if it can get to the Sweet 16.
  • Many analysts are already hopping on the Harvard bandwagon. Save a spot for me as well. The Crimson shoot the ball extremely well, plus they have the balance to combat a Cincy team that is essentially a one-man show with Sean Kilpatrick
  • I'm fairly certain that every analyst on ESPN picked Michigan State to win the national title, which scares me a little. However, keep in mind that this was a team that ruled college basketball earlier in the season before being hit by the injury bug. The Spartans have to be considered one of the heavy favorites to win it all despite being a four-seed.
  • We can give the committee a lot of grief for a lot of things, but I love how they lined up a potential matchup between Villanova and St. Joseph's in the second round. The Wildcats won the Holy War by 30 back in early December, but part two could be way more interesting given how well the Hawks are playing.
And now let's make some predictions:

SECOND ROUND

#1 Virginia over #16 Coastal Carolina
#8 Memphis over #9 George Washington
#12 Harvard over #5 Cincinnati
#4 Michigan State over #13 Delaware
#6 North Carolina over #11 Providence
#3 Iowa State over #14 North Carolina Central
#10 St. Joseph's over #7 UConn
#2 Villanova over #15 Milwaukee

THIRD ROUND

#1 Virginia over #8 Memphis
#4 Michigan State over #12 Harvard
#3 Iowa State over #6 North Carolina
#2 Villanova over #10 St. Joseph's

SWEET 16

#4 Michigan State over #1 Virginia
#3 Iowa State over #2 Villanova

REGIONAL FINAL

#4 Michigan State over #3 Iowa State

Who do you think will win the East Region? Let us know by commenting below! For more NCAA tournament coverage, follow FanIQ or myself on Twitter!
 
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