Unlike many of the other regions in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, the East region went mostly according to plan. Of the top-four seeds, three made it through to the Sweet Sixteen, with only Marquette spoiling the party with a win over Syracuse in the round of 32.
Here’s a look at the regional bracket, with projections for the regional semifinals and finals. Grab your own printable bracket and put together those predictions ahead of Thursday’s games.
No. 1 Ohio State over No. 4 Kentucky, 75-70. The Buckeyes have looked flat dominant thus far en route to the Sweet Sixteen. Kentucky, on the other hand, has struggled, but still managed to survive and advance out of the first weekend. This time around, it should be Ohio State, though Kentucky’s talent should keep the game closer.
No. 2 UNC over No. 11 Marquette, 76-74. Marquette has been one of the surprises of March Madness with its run through the first weekend of the tournament. The Golden Eagles are on fire, with wins over Xavier and Syracuse under their belt. But North Carolina has looked good over the first two rounds and a tough win over Washington has me convinced the Tar Heels can handle Marquette.
East Region Finals
No. 1 Ohio State over No. 2 UNC, 86-82. Again, the Buckeyes are just too much. Ohio State has shown the ability to beat teams from every angle and with a variety of players. Harrison Barnes is amazing for the Tar Heels, but Ohio State’s multi-faceted attack, including Jared Sullinger, is going to be tough for anyone to slow down.
Stay with our Sweet Sixteen predictions StoryStream as we update the bracket throughout the day.. To get caught up with the happenings from March Madness, check out our NCAA Tournament results StoryStream.