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NCAA Tournament: East Region Preview

A look at Purdue’s East Region as March Madness hits

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament Championship-Penn State vs Purdue David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

East Region

Purdue is the top seed here with a strong field that they’ll have to navigate if they want to earn a trip to Houston.

Who wins the East: Tennessee

I want to pick Purdue, I really do. And really, if they are shooting well then I like their chances a lot. But Tennessee just plays such great defense.

I wouldn’t rule out Purdue or Marquette, but I can’t pick all 1-seeds into the Final Four and I like Tennessee more than Marquette in this one.

Potential Upset #12 Oral Roberts over #5 Duke

What will be really fun to watch is the 7’5” Connor Vanover from Oral Roberts going up against the two, 7’ starters from Duke. But Max Abmas will have a lot to say about how this one turns out for Oral Roberts. This upset may be a little bit over-picked, but I really like ORU in this tournament. They do not turn the ball over and they shoot well, rebounding might be the thing that holds them back.

Players to Watch

Abmas is a scoring guard for Oral Roberts who is fun to watch. He averages 22 points per game and has the experience after leading the Golden Eagles to the Sweet 16 two years ago. He averaged over 26 points per game in that run.

PrizePicks Lock: Jordan Brown UNDER points

The Louisiana forward is going up against Tennessee’s elite defense. He will fall short of his projected point total.

As a bonus, I think I would take Max Abmas over for points as I expect he is going to do all he can to carry Oral Roberts past Duke in the first round.

Intriguing later-round matchups

I think the potential matchup of Purdue and Tennesse should be a great one. And likely the winner of that game will win the region.

Kentucky and Kansas St in the 2nd round should also be a fun one. One that I think Kentucky wins to move into the 2nd weekend.

Best Mascot

This one was actually challenging to pick. The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns is one of the best in college sports. But the Vermont Catamounts has always been a favorite mascot too. And I really think the Florida Atlantic Owls are vastly underrated as a mascot (and did anybody see their Miami Vice uniforms recently? Those were HOT!). But I’ll stick with the really angry, French-Canadians in the bayou as the best of this region.