East Regional Preview
No. 1 Villanova over No. 16 Radford
This game is not going to be close at all. The No. 2 team in the whole tournament is led by potential player of the year in Jalen Brunson and is loaded with talent. A No. 16 seed has ever beaten a one seed and it’s not going to start with Nova this year.
No. 8 Virginia Tech over No. 9 Alabama
The star of this matchup is without a doubt Collin Sexton for the Tide. Sexton is one of the best players in the country, but it won’t be enough to be the more complete Hokies. Virginia Tech beat Virginia, Duke, and North Carolina this season.
No. 5 West Virginia over No. 12 Murray State
No. 12 over No. 5 tends to be the most common upset, but it won’t happen in the East bracket. WVU’s defense will be more than enough to contain a good Murray State offense and push the Mountaineers to the second round.
No. 4 Wichita State over No. 13 Marshall
Gregg Marshall and the Shockers are coming into this tournament underrated and history has shown that Wichita State is always a force in March. Landry Shamet for the Shockers will look to have a big day in an easy win over Marshall.
No. 6 Florida over No. 11 UCLA/St. Bonaventure
I see the Gators as one of the dark horse teams in this tournament as they have the talent capable of a deep run. Expect a close game between Florida and the winner of the First Four game.
No. 3 Texas Tech over No. 14 SF Austin
SF Austin has been a Cinderella team before, but Texas Tech will handle its business in a potential upset game. Keenan Evans for the Red Raiders is an underrated star and a player to watch.
No. 10 Butler over No. 7 Arkansas
The Bulldogs are always a team to pick to win in March. They have been a Cinderella team before and I see them beating an overrated Arkansas team.
No. 2 Purdue over No. 15 Cal State Fullerton
The Boilermakers have been up-and-down in the past couple weeks but have the talent to be a Final Four team. This should be an easy win for Purdue.
No. 1 Villanova over No. 8 Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech plays well in big games and I believe they hang with Nova till the end. Villanova has too much talent to lose this game, but this could be a bracket buster.
No. 5 West Virginia over No. 4 Wichita State
This game has the potential to be close and competitive, but I think West Virginia has a more complete game to pull off the minor upset over the Shockers.
No. 6 Florida over No. 3 Texas Tech
As I said before, Florida is a really good team and I think they were seeded too low. They have wins over Gonzaga, Cincinnati, and Kentucky this season. The Gators sneak by a tough Texas Tech defense.
No. 2 Purdue over No. 10 Butler
I was tempted to pick Butler here, but Carsen Edwards and Isaac Haas will be too much for the Bulldogs to handle. Purdue will have extra rest coming off the Big Ten tournament and that could play a factor in this game.
No. 1 Villanova over No. 5 West Virginia
Nova will beat one of the best defenses in the country thanks to my pick for player of the year in Jalen Brunson. Brunson averages close to 20 points and five assists per game and he will shine on the big spotlight.
No. 2 Purdue over No. 6 Florida
The Gators’ run ends at the hands of the better and more complete team in Purdue. Florida’s lack of size will hurt them in this game as they won’t be able to handle Haas and Vincent Edwards down low.
No. 1 Villanova over No. 2 Purdue
I think the East is the only region where the Elite Eight is a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. Villanova and Purdue are the two best teams in this region and will play a classic in the Regional Final. But, the Wildcats have experience in these big games and will make their second Final Four in three years.
Camden Tofil is a freshman majoring in advertising. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.