March Madness East Region Preview

March Madness East Region Preview

by March 15, 2022 0 comments

As the stage sets and the NCAA bracket is in the books, March Madness is underway and the East Region seems to have some elite talent. Ranging from the No. 1 ranked Baylor Bears to the Virginia Tech Hokies who crafted a massive upset in the ACC Finals. Overlooking the lower-ranked teams doesn’t seem too promising. From Saint Peter’s to Norfolk State and Yale, it won’t be surprising to see Baylor and Kentucky deemed victorious. But as most college fans can account too, March is full of the unknown, and nothing is out of reach. Now, we will break down each matchup and determine who will redeem a spot in the second round.

Make sure to check out all of our other March Madness content.

Norfolk State (16) vs. Baylor (1)

Date: Thursday, March 17
Time: 2:00 pm
Where to Watch: TBS
Spread: Norfolk State +20.5 (-110) | Baylor -20.5 (-110)
MoneyLine: Norfolk State +1600 | Baylor -3800
Over/Under: Over 137.5 (-105) | Under 137.5 (-115)

Baylor and Norfolk State are two talented but uneven squads. Baylor flying in from the Big 12 and Norfolk State from the Mid-Eastern Conference. Unless a miracle turns up, Baylor seems to be the favorite by a sizeable margin. Led by All-American guard James Akinjo and upbeat forward Jeremy Sochan. On the other hand, Baylor is missing several pieces to their squad as LJ Cryer and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua headline the injured list. On the opposing side, Norfolk State enters the tournament steered by guards Joe Bryant and Jalen Hawkins.

Projected Winner: Baylor

Saint Peter’s (15) vs. Kentucky (2)

Date: Thursday, March 17
Time: 7:10 pm
Where to Watch: CBS
Spread: Saint Peter’s +17.5 (-120) | Kentucky -17.5 (+100)
MoneyLine: Saint Peter’s +1100 | Kentucky -2200
Over/Under: Over 131.5 (-115) | Under 131.5 (-105)

Saint Peter’s, embodied by coach Shaheen Holloway, and Kentucky, conducted by John Calipari will duke it out on Thursday to retain a spot for the second round. The Peacocks, emerging from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference have a few players who are undervalued, yet, could play a huge role in the matchup. Gaurd Daryl Banks III and forward KC Ndefo have impressed this season and could be the deciding factors to determine the Spartan’s future. Kentucky, one of the bigger names out there, comes in with several superstars to convey. Primarily, Oscar Tshiebwe, the young big man, has been electric this season and will be the center of attention for the Wildcats in this matchup.

Projected Winner: Kentucky

Yale (14) vs. Purdue (3)

Date: Friday, March 18
Time: 2:00 pm
Where to Watch: TBS
Spread: Yale +16 (-110) | Purdue -16 (-110)
MoneyLine: Yale +950 | Purdue -1750
Over/Under: Over 143 (-105) | Under 143 (-115)

Purdue, a recurring high seed in the NCAA tournament, and Yale, who stamped their tournament certificate through an Ivy League victory, will go head to head this upcoming Friday. After landing third in the Big Ten Conference, Purdue has high hopes approaching this matchup. Led by guard Jaden Ivey and center Zach Edey, the Boilermakers are looking quite scary. After Ivy’s monster season, the young guard anticipates performing and a high level entering the tournament. On the Yale side, after an Ivy League championship run led by head coach James Jones, the Bulldogs make their sixth tournament appearance. Guided by rising-star Azar Swain, the Bulldogs aspire Swain to maintain his all-star status and take it to the next level.

Projected Winner: Purdue 

Akron (13) vs. UCLA (4)

Date: Thursday, March 17
Time: 9:50 pm
Where to Watch: TBS
Spread: Akron +13.5 (-110) | UCLA -13.5 (-110)
MoneyLine: Akron +850 | UCLA -1500
Over/Under: Over 128.5 (-110) | Under 128.5 (-110)

While UCLA seems to have the edge, Akron has a handful of stars who can compete with the menacing Bruins. With a record of 24-9 in the mid-American Conference, the Zips seem to be undervalued by many. Consisting of an ambitious trio that includes Ali Ali, Xavier Castaneda, and Enrique Freeman. All three of those studs can be a major factor throughout the contest. On the other side of the ball, the Bruins are led by Johnny Juzang who has been one of the top performers in the NCAA. Averaging 16 points per game, Juzang’s execution will be vital in order for the Bruins to advance.

Projected Winner: UCLA  

Wyoming/Indiana (12) vs. Saint Mary’s (5)

Date: Thursday, March 17
Time: 7:20 pm
Where to Watch: TBS
Spread: TBD
MoneyLine: TBD
Over/Under: TBD

As Saint Mary’s awaits their opponent, Wyoming and Indiana go head to head to determine that position. Under the shadows of the famed Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s placed second in the West Coast Conference. After retaining a 25-7 record, the Gaels seek to make some noise and establish a reputation for years to come. The star of the show for the Gaels has been forward Matthias Tass. The 22-year-old big man led the team in points, rebounds, and blocks per game. However, while the Gaels seem to have an easy road to victory, it doesn’t seem they can bear past the second round.

Projected Winner: Saint Mary’s

Virginia Tech (11) vs. Texas (6)

Date: Friday, March 18
Time: 4:30 pm
Where to Watch: TBS
Spread: Virginia Tech +1 (-110) | Texas -1 (-110)
MoneyLine: Virginia Tech -105 | Texas -115
Over/Under: Over 124.5 (-110) | Under 124.5 (-110)

One of the more exciting games to survey, Virginia Tech and Texas will go neck and neck on Friday afternoon. After a vast upset over the Duke Blue Devils in the ACC Finals, the Hokies are hot and ready to roll. With Keve Aluma and Justyn Mutts leading the pack, the Hokies are ready to rumble. Although, the opposing Longhorns are looking pretty neat themselves. With Timmy Allen and Marcus Carr coming off a hot season, the Longhorns won’t have an issue matching up with the sizzling Hokies.

Projected Winner: Texas

San Francisco (10) vs. Murray State (7)

Date: Thursday, March 17
Time: 9:40 pm
Where to Watch: CBS
Spread: San Francisco +1.5 (-110) | Murray State -1.5 (-110)
MoneyLine: San Francisco +100 | Murray State -120
Over/Under: Over 136.5 (-110) | Under 136.5 (-110)

With San Francisco plucked out of the West Coast and Murray State out of the Ohio Valley Conference, both squads are ready for the madness. After Murray State plowed through their division, they are ambitious and full of talent. From KJ Williams to Tevin Brown and Justice Hill, the Racers are quite skilled. Operating towards San Francisco, the Dons placed fourth in their division after capping off a 24-9 season. Embodied by guard Jamaree Bouyea and forward Yauhen Massalski, the Dons have some skill to display as well.

Projected Winner: Murray State

Marquette (9) vs. North Carolina (8)

Date: Thursday, March 17
Time: 4:30 pm
Where to Watch: TBS
Spread: Marquette +3 (-110) | North Carolina -3 (-110)
MoneyLine: Marquette +135 | North Carolina -155
Over/Under: Over 151.5 (-110) | Under 151.5 (-110)

Seemingly the closest matchup to account for, the Marquette/North Carolina game will be a sight to see. Both squads consist of several young players who can display a clinic. On the Marquette side, forward Justin Lewis has been the motor for the Golden Eagles run. In addition, guard Darryl Morsell has been a huge asset to Marquette throughout the season. Transitioning to North Carolina, the Tar Heels have a ton of depth to convey. From guards Caleb Love and RJ Davis to forwards Armando Bacot and Brady Manek. This game is highly recommended and it will most likely conclude in a tight contest.

Projected Winner: North Carolina

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