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March Madness Betting – 2012 East Region Preview & Picks

EAST REGION PREDICTIONS – 2012 NCAA Tournament Free Picks & Sleepers

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The Elite

Syracuse +150

Seems like belief in Syracuse as a title contender has been fading with their recent loss to Cincinnati providing additional scrutiny.  They are still a very solid bet to make it to the Final Four because they have lots of experience and can be tough to prepare for.  I wish Kris Joseph was better.

Ohio State +150

You can see by the odds that there is little separation between the two from a Vegas perspective.  From my own perspective, whenever I see the Buckeyes I am not overly impressed.  They are a nice team but not a deep one and there are plenty of land mines – see below.

The Contenders

Florida State +900

FSU definitely got everyone’s attention in the regular season with wins against North Carolina and Duke.  Then capped it off with an upset ACC title victory over the Tar Heels.  With so many top teams not winning their conference tourneys they have a lot of momentum right now.  Also, the way they play defense, they are one of those teams that nobody wants to play this time of year.

Vanderbilt +800

I never would have predicted the Commodores to take the SEC title away from Kentucky…but I wonder if that just sets them up for a fall (they seem to always underachieve when favoured). [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Vandy was top 10 in the preseason and has one of the most experienced teams in the nation. Will it be enough to drive to the Final Four from the 5 spot?


Gonzaga +2500

You can’t talk March Madness without looking at the Zags so I am thrilled they are in the East so I get to talk about them.  This is a dangerous team.  They have veteran leadership, great coaching and some next level talent.  Normally you wouldn’t expect a freshman point guard to lead a team this good in scoring but it works for Gonzaga.  There is no team in the region I don’t think they can beat.

East Bracket Predictions

First I have to admit that I always root for underdogs but I think I can make an argument for why Gonzaga can be the mid-major rep at this year’s Final Four.

1.  Nobody’s talking about them – ditto for VCU last year, Butler before that and George Mason a few years before that.
2.  Their first game might be their toughest – playing WVU which is super gritty might be their sternest test.  They need to build momentum like other mid major darlings.
3.  Robert Sacre can defend Jared Sullinger.  He has length, athleticism and heart.  He is a senior and won’t quit in what could be his final game.
4.  FSU goes through massive scoring droughts that make them impossible to see making the kind of run they will need.
5.  Vanderbilt is beatable if you don’t let John Jenkins shoot it.  The Zags are the kind of disciplined team that sticks to the game plan.

It may not all be sexy but I think it is reasonable.  If you prefer to go with Ohio State or Syracuse I am sure you can find lots of other stories as to why they will win elsewhere.

Happy bracketing!

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About The Wiesguy

The Wiesguy is a newcomer to the handicapping scene. Hailing from Toronto, Canada he is always sweet on the underdogs and you can often find his thoughts, musings and picks at moneydogs.blogspot.com.