Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament East Regional Overview

2014 NCAA Tournament East Regional Overview

The East region is chock full of common basketball powers.  Virginia, earning a No. 1 seed for the first time since 1983, will have its work cut out looking at the total bracket.  The East is a bit of a “wild card” in that a number of these teams could make a deep run and potentially vie for the national title.  Michigan State also sits in the No. 4 slot as possibly the most dangerous team in the tournament.  They are now healthy and built for a deep run.

It is a deep bracket as well.  The double-digit seeds have serious chances to upset their higher-seeded opponents.  Harvard, St. Joseph’s, and Providence could create some waves during the first weekend of the tournament by eliminating some teams favored to win early.  Virginia is generally considered the weakest No. 1 seed.  It is anybody’s Final Four bid.

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


Who Can Win?
With so many big time basketball teams in this bracket, there are any number of teams that can win this bracket.  Certainly Virginia could win the bracket.  They are the No. 1 seed for a reason (mainly defense).  Iowa State had a heck of season in the Big 12 and won the conference tournament.  Cincinnati was one of best teams in American Conference all season long.  They and their fellow conference member, Connecticut, played great competition all season to help harden them for tournament time.    North Carolina and Michigan State, two supreme basketball powers, are sitting pretty and ready to pounce on the competition.  The strength of this bracket is the history of success spread throughout.  Michigan State and Iowa State are the safe bets at first look.  Both are playing their best basketball right now.

Who Can Surprise?
George Washington was a revelation in D.C. this year after a subpar season last year.  The Atlantic 10 was an underrated conference all season long, and they did a tremendous job setting themselves up for the No. 9 seed.  The Colonials are good enough to compete with every team in this bracket.  They have great guard play.  Harvard is another team to watch in this bracket to turn some heads.  They beat a very good New Mexico team in the first round of last year’s tournament.  They are talented and experienced, and they could make things happen again this year.

Who’s Hot?
Harvard is a hot team right now having won eight straight games.  Providence is also on a three-game win streak to end their season.  The Friars won the Big East tournament for the first time since the mid-90’s.  They defeated Creighton to avenge a loss to the Jays only a week before.  Providence could come in and give North Carolina a game.  North Carolina Central has won 20 games in a row.  They are on a roll that Iowa State is looking to squash.

Who’s Cold?
Villanova and Memphis cannot be happy with how they have limped into the tournament.  Villanova had a phenomenal season in the Big East only to lose in the first round of the tournament to a bad Seton Hall team they had beaten twice earlier in the year by 17 points each time.  Memphis essentially had a home game in the American tournament and came out very flat against UConn and lost by 19 points.  Both teams will need to rebound mentally from those losses in order to win games in this tournament.

Upset Alert!
Harvard is poised for another first round victory.  Cincinnati has a very good team.  Mick Cronin has done one of his best coaching jobs since he has been at the helm with the Bearcats.  Sean Kilpatrick is a wonderful player, but Harvard has been here before.  The moment will not be too big for them.  They set up their offense really well and shoot the ball with precision.  They have only lost one game in their last 13.  Siyani Chambers is a great point guard that can get things going for the Crimson.  Cincinnati needs to be prepared for a fundamentally sound team.

What Possible Matchup is Interesting?
There are quite a few games that should be intriguing.  On the other hand, all of these games could be blowouts or they could be nailbiters.  The best game should be North Carolina and Providence.  Providence is no small school coming in to play a big boy.  They play in the Big East.  The Friars are familiar with tough opponents.  They lost 11 games this season, but they have been fairly consistent throughout the 2013-2014 campaign.  They only had one bad loss against Seton Hall earlier in the season.  All of their other losses were to teams on their level or better.  UNC is a better team, but with Providence’s Big East title, they will be brimming with confidence.  It should make for a good game.  

Which Players Will Dominate?
The top three players to watch are Joe Harris, Adreian Payne, and DeAndre Kane.  Harris is the best player on the best team in the ACC.  He is shooting 40% from three point range and needs to have an impact if Virginia is going to advance.  Payne was injured for part of the year for Tom Izzo, but he might be the most impactful forward in the tournament.  He has matured a ton over his four years, and without him the Spartans are not the same team.  DeAndre Kane has been an animal for the Cyclones.  He averaged 17 points per game while hitting nearly half of his shots.  This is a big stage.  He has an opportunity to keep his scorching play going.


East Region 2nd Round Game Breakdowns


South Regional Overview

South Region 2nd Round Game Breakdowns


West Regional Overview

West Region 2nd Round Game Breakdowns


Midwest Regional Overview

Midwest Region 2nd Round Game Breakdowns


Madness Tournament Central