Round 2 of March Madness pits 16 teams against each other in the East Region.
March Madness is upon us. Many have already filled out their brackets and started their office pools which is well known in US gambling news. Since the 8 bottom teams have been reduced, we can now begin to look at the 64 teams that will face of in the first round. These teams have been divided by the ratings for each region. The four regions are Midwest, East, West and South.
• March Madness overview
• East Region 2nd round
• March 19-March 20
The top teams of course will play the weaker teams. The regions don’t represent the geographical location of the teams. Teams are purposefully placed outside of their region as not to give any one team a home court advantage. Of course in the next two rounds you may have teams that are playing within 100 miles of their home town. Now let’s look at the games that will occur in the East Region competition in Pittsburg, Seattle, Columbus and Charlotte March 19-20.
First up we have Villinova University vs. Lafayette University. The Villanova Wildcats are a number 1 seed position which automatically makes them the favorites. Kentucky will make to their 11th appearance under Jay Wright and hold an amazing record of 32-2 in their division. Lafayette University has been given the short straw. As a 16th seed with a record of 20-12, whose last tournament appearance was in 2000. I recommend looking at the odds on this one according to US gambling laws of course.
NC State and Louisiana State University might be entertaining. The Wolfpack of North Carolina State is an 8th seed with a 20-13- record. Their hot player, Cat Barber, is returning from an injury so beware. Louisiana State University is a 9th seed with a sweet 21-10 record. The Tigers could by one of the most talented teams in the country, but poor play at times makes them unpredictable. But being unpredictable is what makes March Madness great.
Seattle, Washington hosts UNI, Wyoming, Louisville and California Irvine
University of Northern Iowa and University of Wyoming will square off. The Panthers have a 30-3 record. “Nuff said.” They had a good 2nd half season and they are a deep team. The Wyoming Cowboys, with a record of 22-9, their incredible run in their Mountain West Division Tournament sent them to the big show. Their top guy being injured forced them to depend on the division championship to March Madness entry. This team is all about defense where they rank in the top 10 nationally.
Louisville University and University of California Irvine will meet. The Louisville Cardinals are as dangerous as usual. Former Kentucky Uber-Coach Rick Pitino is leading them to their 19th appearance with a record of 24-8. Losing their best man on offense Jones, forces the Cardinals to rely on their legendary defense. University of California Irvine is a 13th seed with a 21-12 record. Although this is the Anteaters first appearance in the tournament, the four new international recruits may make a difference.
Two showdowns in Columbus, Ohio
Providence University and Dayton University will meet up. Providence has a 22-11 record, but leads the league in scoring. The Friar’s strong non-conference schedule makes them come into this tournament a bit saltier than many. The Dayton Flyers, who lost to Florida last year are returning to the tournament has a 25-8 record. With no player taller than 6 foot 6 inches, the Flyers may find defense challenging; especially if they get through this round.
University of Oklahoma and University of Albany may be a bit of a lopsided matchup. The Oklahoma Sooners are a 3rd seed with an ok 22-10 record. Their big man Buddy Hield led the league in scoring and 3-point shooting. The Albany Great Danes might be a 14th seeded team, but they have record of 24-8. This is their 3-straight appearance in the tournament although they didn’t get far. Although they won The America East Division, they aren’t a vertically gifted team with no player over 6 feet 6 inches tall.
Charlotte, North Carolina will host MSU, Georgia, Virginia and Belmont
Michigan State and University Georgia should be one of the best matchups of the Midwest Region. The 7th seeded Michigan State Spartans had a 23-11 season with the 14th most efficient offense in the country. They will have to face a solid University of Georgia team who have a 10th seed spot and a 21-11 record. The Bulldogs nearly took out undefeated Kentucky. This may be not only the best game in the 2nd round, but one of the best in the tournament as well.
University of Virginia and Belmont will have their showdown. The Virginia Cavaliers have an impressive record of 29-3. Their gameplay has been described as “slow and suffocating” defensively. They’ve held teams below 30 points in 3 occasions this year. A pick for Virginia could easily be a safe way to go when those who do mobile sports betting. Belmont University has a 22-10 record. They won their Ohio Valley Division tournament to get a bid, but might be a strong team in a weak division.