This article is part of our NCAA Tournament Preview series.
EAST REGION PREVIEW
Home to the overall No. 1 seed in the Tournament in the Ohio State Buckeyes, the East region is littered with immensely talented squads and conventional powerhouses in North Carolina, Syracuse and Kentucky. Four of the Big East's 11 tournament squads can be found in this region, as well as the Pac-10 Tournament champion Washington Huskies. With such a top-heavy bracket, upsets and possible Cinderellas may be few and far between in this region, though certainly George Mason and much-maligned UAB may have something to say about that. Still, should the top seeds win out, the possible matchups of Ohio State vs. Kentucky and Syracuse vs. North Carolina should have the avid college basketball fan's mouth watering. Let's dig in and dissect the East region.
Best First-Round Matchup: No. 8 George Mason vs. No. 9 Villanova
This contest will be fueled by the guards and could end up as an extremely fast-paced, up-and-down contest. George Mason comes with All-CAA first-team member Cam Long, along with Ryan Pearson and Luke Hancock, all no taller than 6-foot-6. The Wildcats counter with Corey Fisher, Maalik Wayns and Corey Stokes. The key to this game could be which team rebounds better. Villanova has been outrebounded in each of its last five contests, and in most of those games quite handily.
Best Potential Second-Round Matchup: No. 7 Washington vs. No. 2 North Carolina