NCAA Bracket 2013: Complete Guide to East Region

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IMarch 18, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 15: Cody Zeller #40 of the Indiana Hoosiers grabs a loose ball under pressure from Tyler Griffey #42 of the Illinois Fighting Illini during a quarterfinal game of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at the United Center on March 15, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Not only does the East region have Indiana—the squad that first locked down a No. 1 seed—but it also has the ACC champion Miami Hurricanes, Big East giants Marquette and Syracuse and Brad Stevens' Butler Bulldogs, who are always dangerous during tournament play. 

Beasts, indeed. 

This may not be the most stacked region—that honor goes to the Midwest—you're welcome, Louisville, Duke, Michigan State and Saint Louis.

At first look, it promises for some intriguing matchups, potential upsets and superstars on display. 

Basically, it's pretty much like the rest of the college hoops 2012-13 season. 

Let's take a closer look at everything you need to know about the Washington D.C. regional. 

Note: Be sure to click here to download a printable NCAA bracket. Follow along with the live, updated bracket here.


Round of 64 Matchups

Team vs. Team Arena Location
(1) Indiana  vs. (16) LIU Brooklyn/James Madison UD Arena Dayton, Ohio
(8) NC State vs. (9) Temple UD Arena Dayton, Ohio
(5) UNLV vs. (12) California HP Pavilion San Jose, Calif.
(4) Syracuse vs. (13) Montana HP Pavilion San Jose, Calif.
(6) Butler vs. (11) Bucknell Rupp Arena Lexington, Ky.
(3) Marquette vs. (14) Davidson Rupp Arena Lexington, Ky.
(7) Illinois vs. (10) Colorado Frank Erwin Center  Austin, Texas
(2) Miami vs. (15) Pacific Frank Erwin Center  Austin, Texas

Most Intriguing Round of 64 Matchup

The rematch.

California and UNLV faced off in December in an instant classic. The Rebels rode Anthony Bennett's coming-out party to a fast-paced 76-75 win, but California has one of the best backcourts in the nation in Allen Crabbe, Justin Cobbs and Tyrone Wallace and has improved considerably since that game. 

If this is half as good as the original, it will be a must-watch affair. 


Dream Matchup

Do I really have to pick? 

Indiana-Butler gave us one of the best games of the year and I doubt anyone would mind seeing the intrastate rivalry play out again. 

Pitting the top seeds, Indiana and Miami, in the Elite Eight would also be welcomed, especially considering the Hoosiers' offense and Hurricanes' defense. 

But let's stay with the first weekend.

NC State needs to get past Temple in the Round of 64, but an Indiana vs. NC State matchup would be heart-pounding. 

Both teams have insane athletes, excel in the open court and can put the ball in the hoop at an amazing rate. First to 100 wins?


Players to Watch

Victor Oladipo, Indiana

Cody Zeller deservedly commands a lot of attention as one of the nation's best player, but no one impacts a game in as many ways as Victor Oladipo.

The super-athletic guard is one of the best defenders in America. He records highlight, chase-down blocks, he gets his active hands in passing lanes and never loses his man.

On offense, the dynamic junior is dangerous in transition and is always a threat to get to the rim. 


Anthony Bennett, UNLV

Bennett sometimes disappears in the background, as most true freshman tend to do, but when he has his aggressive cap on, boy is he fun to watch. 

While the 6'8", 240-pound future NBA forward can score underneath, he is unique because of his ability to put the ball on the deck and finish in a ferocious, powerful style. As one of the best scorers in the country, he can also step out and knock down the three. 


Mike Muscala, Bucknell

Speaking of inside-outside big men threats.

Muscala doesn't have the power or range of Bennett, but the 6'11" senior can score with his back to the basket in a variety of ways and can step out and hit the mid-range jumper with consistency. In addition to 19.0 points per game, he is a vacuum cleaner on the glass (11.2 per game) and is elite at protecting the rim (2.4 blocks per contest). 


Andre Roberson, Colorado 

The junior is only 6'7", but he plays much bigger than his height suggests. Roberson is a galvanizing athlete with long arms, wonderful instincts and a relentless, junkyard-dog mentality. 

Not only is he arguably the best rebounder in the nation (11.3 per game), but his size, athleticism and attitude allow him to guard almost any player on the court. He averages 2.2 steals and 1.3 rebounds per game for the defensively stout Buffs. 


Major Upset Watch

Montana vs. Syracuse.

Although Will Cherry is undersized, he has the defensive ability to bother Michael Carter-Williams, who is so crucial to the Orange being effective on offense. 

On the other side of the court, the Grizzlies shoot a scorching 38.5 percent from long range (19th best in America) and could potentially destroy Jim Boeheim's famous 2-3 zone. Leading scorer Mathias Ward is out for the season, but Montana has gone 6-1 in his stead and has other offensive weapons to fill the void.


Sleeper Final Four Pick


Statistically, the Bulldogs don't stand out. They are 82nd nationally in points per possession and 122nd in points allowed per possession

But hopefully you've learned by now not to doubt Brad Stevens in big games.

As one of the best coaches in America, Stevens always has his physical, well-disciplined team prepared better than anyone else in the nation. He proved that with two recent Final Four runs, and he proved that with wins over No. 1 seeds Indiana and Gonzaga (without Rotnei Clarke) earlier this season.

Moreover, the No. 6 Bulldogs' route to Atlanta isn't overwhelming. 


Final Four Prediction

Indiana is built the best for a Final Four run. 

The Hoosiers can score from both inside and out. They have depth and plenty of options to score the ball, if Zeller struggles. They play aggressive defense and force lots of turnovers and they rebound. They do it all, and as long as Tom Crean has his team focused, there is no team more talented.

Make your picks for the 2013 NCAA Tournament here with the Bracket Challenge Game


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