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Filling Out Your Bracket - Everything You Need to Know: East Region

Posted on 15. Mar, 2010 by Nolan Shulman in Tournaments, nba-draft

The NCAA tournament is upon us which means it's time to fill out your brackets and call in sick for Thursday/Friday.  It's the best two days in sports.   Getting together with the boys, dramatic buzzer beaters, Cinderella's, and Miller Light.  It doesn't get any better.  But before you finalize your bracket, let Flagrant Fouls fill you in on everything you need to know about each region. 

The East region is absolutely loaded with NBA Draft prospects.  In fact, 10 of the top 31 draft prospects are featured in the East.  Kentucky has three of the top five prospects and are the heavy favorites to march their way into Indianapolis.  A potential battle with West Virgina (Big East Tournament Champions) and their extremely clutch two guard Da'Sean Butler looms, but both teams have a lot of work to do to make it happen. 

Follow us on Twitter for live updates throughout the Tournament. 

Filling Out Your Bracket - Everything You Need to Know: Midwest Region

Filling Out Your Bracket - Everything You Need to Know: South Region

Filling Out Your Bracket - Everything You Need to Know:West Region

Best First Round Matchup

#8 Texas Longhorns vs. #9 Wake Forest Demon Deacons

On January 18th Texas was 17-0 and the #1 team in the country.  Since that time, the Longhorns have lost to Baylor 3 times, Kansas State, UConn, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas A&M.  Despite their late season meltdown, the Horns have the talent to not only knock off Wake Forest, but to give Kentucky a serious scare in the round of 32.  Led by Senior Damion James who averaged a double-double (18 points and 10.4 rebounds), Dexter Pittman, and freshman sensation Avery Bradley the Longhorns have a boat load of talent both inside and out.  Wake Forest also suffered a collapse to end the season.  They lost 5 of their last 6, including a 21 point beat down by Miami in the ACC tournament.  While it's been a struggle of late, Wake also features a roster full of dynamic talent.  Al-Farouq Aminu is the 4th ranked prospect in the upcoming NBA Draft, but hasn't been able to find his shot of late, averaging just 9 points over his last four games.  He's shot just 11 of 34 over that span.  If Wake is going to have a chance, that's going to have to change. 

 

Top NBA Draft Prospects

1. John Wall, Kentucky

2. DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky

3. Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest

4. Patrick Patterson, Kentucky

5. Avery Bradley, Texas

6. Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky

7. Devin Ebanks, West Virginia

8. Quincy Pondexter, Washington

9. Trevor Booker, Clemson

10. Damion James, Texas

 

Best Player You've Never Heard of

Kevin Jones, West Virginia

While DaSean Butler and Devin Ebanks get all the publicity in Morgantown, Kevin Jones is an equally instrumental piece to their success.  He does a little bit of everything for coach Huggins.  He averaged 13.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game this season, while also shooting 38% from three and 52% from the floor.   Everyone knows DaSean Butler because of his seven buzzer beaters this season and everyone who follows the draft is familiar with Ebanks, but, West Virginia's chances of going deep depends on Jones also stepping up and providing the Mountaineers with a third option. 

 

Potential Cinderella

Cornell Big Red

Cornell isn't known as a basketball factory, it's a place of higher learning.  That said, the Big Red have had an outstanding season.  They've beat Alabama, UMASS, Vermont, Bucknell, Davidson, St. John's, and Princeton.  They are 27-4 with their only losses coming to #1's Kansas (71-66) and Syracuse (88-73), as well as, Seton Hall and Penn (a team they've recently beaten).  They average 75 points per game and are led by 6-7 senior, Ryan Wittman (17.5 ppg).  Look for them to play Temple tough and pull the upset.  They've played in tough environments (The Carrier Dome) and hung tough with the #1 overall team in the country (lost to Kansas by 5).  The stage won't be too big for them, and the Big Red are ready to play the role of Cinderella.

 

Best Potential Head to Head Battle

Devin Ebanks vs. Lazar Hayward

The battle of Big East forwards should be one of the most exciting match-ups of the Sweet 16.  Both players are versatile forwards capable of playing inside and out.  In their only head to head battle this season, Ebanks scored 19 points, added 8 rebounds, and handed out 4 assists.  He made 8-12 shots in a one point West Virginia victory.  Hayward had 24 points and 4 rebounds while shooting 9-20.  Hayward is the focal point of Marquette's offense while Ebanks has taken a back seat to DaSean Butler.  If Marquette has any chance of pulling the upset, Hayward will have to get the best of Ebanks. 

 

Elite 8 Prediction

Kentucky  vs. West Virginia

Kentucky might be young (they start 3 freshman), but surprisingly they've been one of the most consistent teams all year long.  Led by the #1 ranked player in our 2010 NBA Draft rankings, John Wall, Kentucky has been in the top 5 all season long.  John Calipari and his star studded freshman have re-enthused Big Blue Nation, and everyone in the State of Kentucky is gearing up for a Final Four run.  West Virginia hasn't been as consistent as the Wildcats, but they are playing their best ball of the season.  They went down to Madison Square Gardens and captured the most difficult Conference tournament in the country (Big East) on a few dramatic DaSean Butler buzzer beaters.  That said, they don't have a point guard with enough lateral quickness to stay in front of either John Wall or Eric Bledsoe, nor do they have any big men capable of keeping DeMarcus Cousins in check.  If somehow the Mountaineers can keep it close, you know Butler will deliver, but I just don't see that happening. 


Final Four Prediction

Kentucky Wildcats

Coach Cal will come to Lexington and turn the program around in just one short year.  He laid the foundation over the summer with a hard fought couple of months on the recruiting trail and it looks as if he'll be rewarded with another trip to the Final Four. 

 

East Region MOP

DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky

While Wall began the season in the spotlight (for good reason) it will be Cousins who shares it with him at season's end.  No player in the country has produced more per minute than Cousins.  While DeMarcus only averaged 23 minutes per game this season, he scored 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.  Those numbers are jaw dropping.  Look for Cal to finally unleash the big fella, and for Cousins to reward him by leading the Cats to the Final Four.  I know what you're thinking.  How can I not pick John Wall?  It has nothing to do with me being down on John (I still think he's the most talented player in America), I just think it's Cousins time in the shine. 

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5 Responses to “Filling Out Your Bracket - Everything You Need to Know: East Region”

  1. Predicting Thursday’s Sweet 16 Match-ups | Flagrant Fouls 25. Mar, 2010

    [...] 17-25 so far in the first two rounds and has been automatic from anywhere in the gym.  We predicted prior to the tournament that the Big Red would fill the role of Cinderella this year.  After seeing them play Kansas [...]

    Reply to this comment
  2. NCAA Tournament: Round 2 Standouts | Flagrant Fouls 22. Mar, 2010

    [...] behind, finishing with 24 points and perhaps solidifying his case as the tournaments best shooter. As we predicted last week, The Big Red have taken on the role of Cinderella and marched their way into the sweet [...]

    Reply to this comment
  3. Filling Out Your Bracket-Everything You Need To Know: West Region | Flagrant Fouls 17. Mar, 2010

    [...] Everything You Need to Know: East Region [...]

    Reply to this comment
  4. Everything You Need to Know: South Region | Flagrant Fouls 17. Mar, 2010

    [...] Everything You Need to Know: East Region [...]

    Reply to this comment
  5. Filling Out Your Bracket-Everything You Need To Know: Midwest Region  | Flagrant Fouls 16. Mar, 2010

    [...] Everything You Need to Know: East Region [...]

    Reply to this comment

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