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KSR NCAA Tournament Preview: East Region


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and KSR is celebrating by previewing each region of the NCAA Tournament in the most ridiculous manner possible. Let’s start with the East Region.

The Bracket


Viewing Schedule

THURSDAY
6:50 PM (1) Villanova (16) LIU Brooklyn/Radford TNT
9:20 PM (8) Virginia Tech (9) Alabama TNT
9:27 PM (3) Texas Tech (14) Stephen F. Austin TruTV
9:57 PM (6) Florida (11) St. Bonaventure/UCLA TruTV
FRIDAY
12:40 PM (2) Purdue (15) CS Fullerton TruTV
1:30 PM (4) Wichita State (13) Marshall TNT
3:10 PM (7) Arkansas (10) Butler TruTV
4:00 PM (5) West Virginia (12) Murray State TNT

Best Stars

 Collin Sexton, Alabama

Sexton is the reason Alabama’s in the tournament after a phenomenal showing in St. Louis. He was worn out by the time the Crimson Tide played Kentucky, but his game-winner vs. Texas A&M and 31-point showing vs. Auburn impressed the hell out of me. He’s a star and if he stays hot, will lead Alabama to some upsets.

 Jalen Brunson, Villanova

Villanova’s junior guard is up for all the national player of the year awards, and for good reason. He’s the main reason Villanova’s offense ranks No. 1 in KenPom’s efficiency ratings. He’s even stronger when paired with wing Mikal Bridges, making for one of the best backcourts in the country.

 Carsen Edwards, Purdue

Caleb Swanigan may be gone, but sophomore guard Carsen Edwards is the Boilermakers’ new star. Edwards looks like a football player, but is fast and hits 41.2% of his threes. He’s been especially hot in the past month.


Best Mascot: Butler Bulldog

Sadly, live mascots are not permitted in the first, second, or regional rounds of the NCAA Tournament, which is a crying shame because Butler’s Blue is just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. He and Arkansas’ live razorback Tusk even have a little Twitter trash talk going on:

Runner up: the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack

He would fit right in in my neighborhood.


Upset picks

(9) Alabama over (8) Virginia Tech

This is one of the most intriguing matchups of the first round. Virginia Tech beat North Carolina, Virginia, Clemson, and Duke this year, but they don’t have Collin Sexton. As I said earlier, if Sexton gets hot, Bama gets the win, and I think will upset Villanova to go to the Sweet 16.

(10) Butler over (7) Arkansas

I wasn’t terribly impressed by Arkansas in the SEC Tournament. Yes, they beat Florida, but they only beat South Carolina by five the day before and got pummeled by Tennessee in the semis. Besides, I’m not going to take any team that got swept by LSU seriously. Butler is actually favored by 1.5 points right now in Vegas, so this isn’t really even an upset. Sorry, Mike Anderson.

Longshot: (14) Stephen F. Austin over (3) Texas Tech

Texas Tech star Keenan Evans has battled turf toe in recent weeks, and although he played well in the Big 12 Tournament, if he’s not 100%, Stephen F. Austin could bust another bracket.


All-Name Team

  • Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, Villanova
  • Ty Outlaw, Virginia Tech
  • Brion Sanchious, Murray State
  • Gorjok Gak, Florida
  • Sasha Stefanovic, Purdue

Dark Horse: (9) Alabama

Players like Collin Sexton are made for March. I have the Crimson Tide upsetting No. 1 Villanova. From there, can they handle Press Virginia?


Ugliest Uniform: Stephen F. Austin

Anything is better than UK’s checkerboard, but these feel a little too simple to me. I realize “Stephen F. Austin” is a lot to spell out, but the “SFA” being so close in size to the numbers throws me off.


Pick: (5) West Virginia

No, this is not just an excuse to use my “Huggy Bear as Norm” photoshop again. If West Virginia can get past Wichita State to the Sweet 16, I like their chances against Villanova or Alabama. That press can make even the best offense panic in March.

Besides, Kentucky and West Virginia are destined to play each other in the NCAA Tournament, and the only way that can happen is in the national championship, right?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

7 responses to “KSR NCAA Tournament Preview: East Region”

  1. KYcats11

    I actually like the checkerboard. I wasn’t wild about it when it came, but it has grown on me.

  2. IAmTheDanger

    FYI: Tubby Smith out at Memphis

  3. runningunnin.454

    That picture of Huggins as Norm is hilarious…loved Cheers.
    But you’re forgetting one thing…we shouldn’t look past Davidson, and WVa shouldn’t look past Murray State…I can hope, can’t I?

  4. Smyrna_Cat

    Way too much talk about Bama … they won’t last the first weekend.

  5. Kevin C

    Tai Wynyard should try out for the SFA mascot, since it doesn’t look like he’ll be playing for UK again. He was practically born to play the part.

  6. callitlikeiseeit

    I think by far the easiest bracket….

  7. syrin23

    No one in this bracket impresses me