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March Madness Betting – 2011 East Region Preview & Picks

EAST REGION PREDICTIONS – 2011 NCAA Tournament Free Picks & Sleepers

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And so it begins. March Madness, officially known as the NCAA Tournament, begins this week.

Let’s review each region and make a pick, starting with the East.

EAST BRACKET – THE ELITE

(1) Ohio State Buckeyes
Odds to win East Region: +135
:: OSU Betting Stats

NCAA East Region Predictions - Our Pick: Ohio St.

It’s hard to believe Ohio State hasn’t won since 1960, as the Buckeyes have been in the national title hunt plenty of times since then. Greg Oden and Evan Turner led some good Buckeye teams: now, it’s Jared Sullinger. He was a beast in leading Ohio State to the Big Ten tournament win last week, averaging 16.3 points and 14 boards. The recent success distracts from Ohio State’s still-alarming losses to Wisconsin and Purdue earlier this season. Could the nation’s top team crack when the going gets tough?

THE CONTENDERS

(2) North Carolina Tar Heels
Odds to win East Region: +405
:: UNC Betting Stats

UNC’s slow start seems like a distant memory now. The Tar Heels got hot and made a deep run in the ACC tourney, with Harrison Barnes exploding for 40 points in the semifinal. The 17-point loss to Duke reminds us that the North Carolina isn’t in the same tier as Ohio State, though.

(3) Syracuse Orange
Odds to win East Region: +425
:: Syracuse Betting Stats

You never know with Big East teams. Syracuse may have been lost in the shuffle this year but that conference is so tough that it seems like 10 teams emerge out of there ready to contend in March Madness every year. Yet the loss to UConn in the Big East tournament was somewhat telling. Kemba Walker ran over them and, with all due respect to Kris Joseph, Rick Jackson and scoop Jardine, Syracuse may lack the go-to guy when the game is on the line. Online Sports Betting at Sportsbook

(4) Kentucky Wildcats
Odds to win East Region: +425
:: UK Betting Stats

Kentucky deserves a round of applause. It saw John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe bolt for the NBA but still enjoyed a successful year, with Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones forming a potent-one-two punch. How about those freshmen? And how about Kentucky’s dominant run in the SEC tournament? It won its three games by 19, 14 and 16 points en route to the title.

THE SLEEPER

(7) Washington Huskies
Odds to win East Region: +1215
:: UW Betting Stats

Is it safe to say Washington is the sexiest sleeper in any region to start March Madness? Isaiah Thomas put the Cinderella story in motion by draining a buzzer beater Saturday to clinch the Pac-10 title and secure a tournament berth for the Huskies. However, while their offense makes them intriguing, it’s hard to imagine their “D” holding up should they make a deep run and match up against a powerhouse like Ohio State.

THE PICK

The road to the Final Four won’t be easy for Ohio State. Some people feel the East Region is the toughest quarter of the March Madness bracket this season. But I’m not giving up on the Buckeyes yet. This is still the top-ranked team in the country and the losses to Purdue and Wisconsin may have been blessings in disguise. They’ve won seven straight since the Boilermakers beat them on February 20. With Jared Sullinger leading the way, a great perimeter shooting game and solid “D,” Ohio State has what it takes to emerge from the East.

East Region Free Pick: Ohio State +135

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


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