2013 NCAA Tournament Predictions: East Region

March 20, 2013

The final of my region-by-region breakdown of the NCAA Tournament, here are my predictions for the East Region.

Second Round Games to Watch

#3 Marquette vs. #14 Davidson (Thurs, following Butler vs. Bucknell game)

Depending on what kind of basketball player you think you were (or are) will probably determine which team you would sympathize with in this matchup. Marquette is the athletic squad from the Big East, picking up some solid wins throughout the season but also getting itself into trouble because collectively the team shoots the ball terribly from behind the arc (314th in the nation in three point shooting percentage). Davidson, however, shoots the ball very well from behind the arc, and takes great care of the basketball. In other words, they are the typical underdog opponent; they’ll beat you by playing smart and making threes.

If Davidson can find a way to limit transition baskets by Marquette’s athletic guards, Bob McKillop’s team has a chance to pull off a huge second round upset. Even if the Wildcats don’t manage to beat the Golden Eagles, chances are they will hang around all game and keep fans on the edge of their seat. Davidson played well against a Big East opponent in last year’s Big Dance, and that Big East team ended up making it all the way to the Final Four.

#7 Illinois vs. #10 Colorado (Fri, following Miami vs. Pacific game)

If you’re one to get excited about great individual battles, then this is a game you simply cannot miss. Colorado is led by 6’6″ point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who is not exactly a household name at this point but could be in a matter of weeks. Dinwiddie’s ball handling skills are superb considering his size, and the Illini are going to have to find a way to limit his trips to the foul line if they want to win. Opposite Dinwiddie will be senior point guard Brandon Paul, who has the ability to catch fire at any point.

It will be interesting to see which player gets the best of the other, as the two players will probably end up guarding each other in this game. Neither player is alone in his quest to carry his team through the tournament, but it is pretty safe to say that the one who has the better game will also probably see his team ahead on the scoreboard. In addition to this being one of the best head-to-head individual battles of the tournament, the winning team will have a good shot at taking down Miami in the next round.

Team That Could Make a Run


Like several other teams in the Mountain West Conference, the Runnin’ Rebels have the ability to beat just about any team in the nation, but can also come out flat and lose to just about anyone as well. Dave Rice’s team has the unenviable task of beating No. 12 seed California in San Jose, which is essentially a home game for the Golden Bears. However, if the Runnin’ Rebels can make it past that game, they have a decent shot of going pretty far.

Forward Anthony Bennett is one of the best in the nation at his position, and he will be difficult for any team to stop. UNLV also has a lot of depth, which allows them to run an up-tempo offense that teams like Syracuse may struggle stopping. It is unlikely that the Runnin’ Rebels will be out of any game that they play, as the team lost just one game by more than nine points this season. But like many of the other Mountain West squads in the tournament, we just don’t know what we’re going to get with UNLV. That’s scary, in both senses of the word.

My Picks

Second Round

#1 Indiana over #16 LIU Brooklyn/James Madison

#9 Temple over #8 North Carolina State

#5 UNLV over #12 California

#4 Syracuse over #13 Montana

#11 Bucknell over #6 Butler (upset alert)

#3 Marquette over #14 Davidson

#10 Colorado over #7 Illinois

#2 Miami over #15 Pacific

Third Round

#1 Indiana over #9 Temple

#4 Syracuse over #5 UNLV

#11 Bucknell over #3 Marquette (upset alert)

#2 Miami over #10 Colorado

Sweet 16

#1 Indiana over #4 Syracuse

#2 Miami over #11 Bucknell

Elite 8

#1 Indiana over #2 Miami

Now that I’ve broken down every region and you can see my region winners, here are my picks for the Final Four.

Final Four

National Semifinals

#1 Louisville over #2 Ohio State

#1 Kansas over #1 Indiana


#1 Kansas over #1 Louisville

There you have it. Obviously, not a whole lot of parody once you get down to the later rounds, but I’m sure that there will be a lot of madness that will totally blow my predictions to smithereens. Take a look at my predictions again if you need to, then let me know where you think I’m going to be wrong. This is the best time of the year, and I don’t really care what happens, as long as I get to watch the action unfold!

Any comments, questions or concerns can be sent to me at kbecks@aroundthecorn.com. I appreciate your comments, as well as all of you that took the time to read any of my work.

– K. Becks

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