East Region Forum

Something tells me this will be the craziest region of them all. Miami is a strong team…but didn’t go to the dance last year. Marquette doesn’t seem like a real three to me…and there are a bunch of perennial Cinderellas lumped together in this bracket. Here’s what’s got me scratching my head:

  • If one were so inclined to drop Indiana out of its bracket early, who would be the most likely culprit do to the deed? Syracuse? Anyone crazy enough to think NC State can catch lightning in a bottle? That’s one talented frontcourt…
  • Why do I get the feeling that any one of Butler, Bucknell, Marquette or Davidson could emerge from that mini-quadrant…and even upset Miami?
  • Might the Hurricanes exit even earlier than that, say, to Colorado in the round of 32?
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41 Responses to East Region Forum

  1. John says:

    Was looking at the seed guide..wouldn’t Montana qualify as an potential upset and Syracuse as a victim? Both seem to fit criteria correct – or am I missing something?

    • ptiernan says:

      In most models, I never advocate picking a 4v13 upset. But they might meet the criteria.

      • cderrick77584 says:

        Cuse has a scoring margin % above 17%. It is 18.8%.

        It is close. The only way you ever justify a pick like Montana is if you actually plan on advancing them which would be a terrible idea, or you are absolutely convinced Syracuse can’t win in the next round.

        In this case I don’t see UNLV or Cal knocking Syracuse off so it is hard for me to see any benefit to picking Montana.

        • Naz says:

          Remember, Montana lost their leading scorer (Ward) due to injury. Syracuse gets a break.

          • Mark says:

            Where on the spreadsheet can we find the % scoring margin? Or is this something that we have to calculate?

            Good point on Montana losing top player.

          • ptiernan says:

            You have to calculate: Margin divided by Points Allowed.

  2. Bob H says:

    This Indiana-Syracuse matchup really intrigues me. I KNOW that Syracuse can beat Indiana when they are playing at their best. But how much can we really trust them? I’ve watched Indiana play a ton this season, and they often struggle when Zeller plays anyone good inside (in this case just the 2-3 zone). I think Carter-Williams will be impossible for Hulls or Ferrell to guard, so they will have to throw Oladipo on him, which will cause mismatches elsewhere (Southerland, Fair) I foresee them having some issues with this 2-3, and I don’t trust Crean as a coach. Unfortunately, I don’t trust Syracuse as a team. What are your thoughts?

    • ptiernan says:

      Syracuse is definitely interesting. I asked myself: if someone other than a 1 were to come out of the East, who would it be. I picked Orange in my Contrarian bracket.

      • SpartanHoops1 says:

        More contrarian picks …. Bucknell def Butler and Davidson def Marquette.

        • aaron says:

          Cal beats Cuse in California (one of the biggest upsets I have) …. the orange are horrible on the road and they haven’t traveled anywhere near as far as Cal

          • TJ says:

            Actually, Cuse won at San Diego State to start the season. Granted, it was abomination of a game on an aircraft carrier, but still. They also won convincingly in a true road game at Arkansas and of course beat Louisville on the road.

    • Steve says:

      Indiana’s good 3 point shooters (Hulls and Watford) excell at shooting from a spot up position. Make them come off screens–which they don’t–or put the ball on the floor and they drop their effectiveness way down. Same goes with Olidipo and the bench 3 point shooters.

      It’s the reason almost nobody played a 2-3 against them, except for Georgetown where IU shot almost 60% from three. Syracuse could beat them, but I don’t think the 2-3 will be the reason why.

      Also, Hulls is a liability on defense. Ferrell is one of the better perimeter defenders in the country. Unless, you have a big that can draw Zeller out of the paint (where he will be camped) and post Ferrell up, he won’t give up much on defense.

  3. Brett Bunnell says:

    What are California’s chances of pulling of 12 v. 5 upset? and then furthermore, taking down Cuse? I don’t trust Cuse, but then again I’ve been burned twice by picking two big east teams seeded 3 or 4 to make the final 4 over the past decade and then having them lose in round 1. (Uconn losing to San Diego, and G’town losing to OU)

  4. BurklandJ says:

    I really like this region. I do agree with most in that Syracuse is most-likely to upset Indiana, especially after their performance in the Big East Tourney.. I almost picked Davidson to upset Marquette in Round 1 but no a little better than that, cost outweigh potential benefits. I like UNLV to pull it out on California and then I am really not sure what to do with the Bucknell Butler game.. I like the Bucknell team with Mike Muscala and this Butler is not nearly as good as Butler’s of the past. However, it is so hard to pick against Butler because of Stevens PASE.. One of my more interesting games to watch… I also like Colorado to edge out Illinois. Illinois just doesnt have the winning margin for me to be comfortable

  5. Jon Hiatt says:

    Under Final Four/Champ section there is the chart called Seed Qualification and Conflict Rules. Each year I wonder when that chart will get updated for the current year and I always seem to miss it. I don’t have the usual time to study this year and would like to base my picks off this chart. Would love an assist here?

  6. John R. says:

    I loved Miami when they were under the radar before the Duke upset. I hate Miami now. They remind me of Missouri from last year- not ready for center stage as a heavy favorite. I have Illinois upsetting them in the second round. Given that I have Bucknell or Davidson advancing to the Sweet Sixteen out of that pod, I had Illinois in the Elite Eight.

    That scares me. This is the region that is going to be crazy.

  7. Bob H says:

    What about a potential Butler-Miami matchup? How would that go? Miami is more athletic but I feel like Stevens would find a way to exploit their weaknesses.

    • cderrick77584 says:

      I looked at this earlier.

      Butler meets the criteria in “Upset Spotting” and I believe the only thing holding them back in the “Seed Guide” is that they aren’t from a Big 6 Conference.

      I considered emailing Pete in regards to this because at this point I am not sure how much Butler falls under the Big 6. After consecutive runs to the FF and moving into the Catholic 7 or whatever it is…they are clearly on the move.

      I think picking Butler has potential to add a lot of value to a bracket. Everyone has written them off at this point. This team still beat Gonzaga and Indiana, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have Stevens on the sideline.

      • JD says:

        Look at the KenPom #’s and COACH #’s for Butler/Bucknell – it’s incredibly close. Butler will be lucky to make it out of the first round. Neither team will be ‘cuse. Even in a seed-weighted league like I am in, they’re expectations on return are too low. In my two brackets, I splite the Bucknell/Butler matchup.

        • Patrick says:

          Seems like Butler is a better team, Bucknell has the best player. Similar squads, but Butler has all the experience, thoughts?

          • ptiernan says:

            Been going back and forth on this one. I think I’d kick myself if I went against Stevens and company…and they surprised again. One thing is for sure about this quadrant: I wouldn’t be surprised to see ANY of the teams get to the Sweet 16. And that doesn’t say a lot for Marquette.

  8. kevin ivers says:

    Just curious what all of Miami’s deficiences are according to the paper tiger 2 seeds. I remember seeing a couple I believe. Can someone please note what they are? That would be awesome. At work missing out on bracketing at the moment…

  9. Mark says:

    Two calculation questions:
    1 – The combined rebounding and turnover margin to determine possessions a game.

    2 – The % of scoring from backcourt/frontcourt: Which tab is that under?

    Thanks! This is my first time using these tools.

    • Dan says:

      R+TO has to be calculated. You just add the rebounding margin and turnover margin (in the spreadsheet a good rebounding margin is actually negative). So rebounding margin of 3.2 plus a turnover margin of -2.5 (as listed in spreadsheet) would equal a R+TO of 5.7 possesions/game.

      % of scoring from backcourt is column “BT” in the spreadsheet. Obviously, frontcourt scoring is 100%-BT.

  10. ptiernan says:

    Mark – For combined rebounding/turnover, it’s REB MAR – TO MAR. A negative turnover margin is a good thing. That’s not on the sheet; you have to calculate it. Or create your own column.

    For backcourt % of points, see column BT in the sheet. That’s the backcourt %. The front court is that subtracted from 100%

  11. Alex says:

    Illinois or Colorado? Tough, tough matchup. I mean Illinois looks terrible as of late but has started off super strong. On the other hand we have Colorado who can surprise, but something tells me that Illinois has it within them to beat Colorado and shock Miami and honestly with the right matchup I can see them in the Elite Eight. Cmon Marquette is over-seeded and Butler is over-seeded as well. I feel the competition committee really wants to make it third time the charm and hopefully they get it right. I like Illinois to upset Miami.

  12. Matt says:

    Am I crazy here to think Davison has a shot to upset Marquette? I know the whole 3-14 thing, but Davidson has some positives for them. They have all five returning starters from a team that lost in the first round to Louisville by only 7. That Louisville team lost to Kentucky in the tournament last year and is pretty much teh same squad back this year. This year they haven’t lost since January 2 adn that was to Duke. Maybe Steph Curry will walk into Rupp.

    • ptiernan says:

      Crazy?! Crazy like a fox… Seriously, I think I have a couple brackets that picked Davidson. But none of them were really stats-driven.

      • Jake Daniel says:

        If you’re going to advance Davidson past Marquette, then you should take a very long look at penciling them in to the Sweet 16. Let’s say you have No. 6 Butler vs No. 14 Davidson in the Round of 32. Well, a No. 14 seed beating a 6 seed needs to have this qualifier: beat their opponents by more than 12 points (No. 14 Davidson beat their opponents by 11.5 points per game this year). Hmm. Very close. Bottomline: it’s anybody’s guess who will be in the Sweet 16 in that quadrant of the East region.

        • ptiernan says:

          I agree on the uncertainties of this quadrant. I think I have Butler going to the S16 from here…but it could just as easily be Bucknell…or Davidson (to a slightly lesser degree). I’ll say this: I’d take a bet that gave me all those teams vs. Marquette.

    • Andy M says:

      Matt, I’ll give you a bracketmaster bump right here. Check out the record for 14 seeds who score less than 76 per game, then look at 3 seeds who score less than 71 per game.

      • FapDaddy says:

        I have Davidson in the sweet 16 as well. This is by far the craziest part of my bracket (it supposed to be a nutty tourney right?)

        Marquette is by far the weakest 3 seed. They have balanced scoring but they are atrocious from 3 point range. 20 out of their 31 games were within single digits. Davidson, on the other hand blew out their opponents (second best scoring differential behind Gonzaga). Meanwhile, if it is a close game — Davidson has the best free throw percentage in the country at 80 percent. They also have fantastic 3 point shooting, with a solid and experienced frontcourt in Cohen and Brooks that can at least give the Eagles a battle down low.

        And beyond that, Vegas has Marquette favored by only 3 and half for a 14v3 game!! That being said, the game can go either way. But if you are looking for a major upset, this would be a good place to start.

  13. PH says:

    my east outlook for whats its worth
    – I’ve created a model that has picked champ correctly since 2001. This year Indy wins it all.
    – Upset alert: 14 Davidson over 3 Marquette.
    – The winner of Bucknell – Butler can go a long way.

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