1 / 3
2 / 3
3 / 3

Your Guide To The 2019 NCAA Men’s Tournament: East region

East Area

Top seed outlook: As stated by the FiveThirtyEight version, top seed Duke has the best chance of advancing to the Final Four at the entire area (53 percent probability) as well as the best likelihood of winning the national title (19 percent).
The Blue Devils are led by four soon-to-be first-round draft selections, including Zion Williamson, one of the most significant talents in recent memory. Duke is a walking highlight reel to the offensive end and much stingier on protection than many might realize. This is among Mike Krzyzewski’s most-balanced teams and projects to become his first since 2010 to position inside the top six in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted offense and defense metrics. That group won the national title.1
What this team lacks, however, is signature across the perimeter. Duke shoots a grisly 30.2 percent from beyond the arc, the worst marker one of tournament-qualifying teams. In an offensive era increasingly dominated by space and perimeter scoring, the Blue Devils could buck the trend punishing the rim.
On the other side of the area is the winner of the Big Ten conference tournament, Michigan State. As their reward, the No. 2 Spartans have the honour of a potential matchup from the top overall seed in the Elite Eight. Head coach Tom Izzo was none too pleased. The Spartans are pummeled by injuries but remain among the most balanced teams in the country, standing inside the top eight in Pomeroy’s adjusted offense and protection metrics.
Sneaky Final Four pick: No. 4 Virginia Tech. Led by the star pairing of Kerry Blackshear Jr. and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, the Hokies are a balanced squad which ranks one of Pomeroy’s Top 25 teams on both offense and defense. Although they have dropped eight times, only two of these were double-digits. Virginia Tech also has a not-altogether-unfriendly draw, with exceptionally winnable opening games against Saint Louis (87% ) and the Mississippi State-Liberty winner (63 percent) before most likely running to Duke’s juggernaut. We give the Hokies a decent 25 percent chance against the Blue Devils — and a 54 percent chance against individuals emerges from the bottom of the area if they do manage to knock off Duke.
Don’t wager on: No. 3 LSU. With trainer Will Wade embroiled in a pay-for-play scandal and his group probably overvalued as a 3-seed, the Bayou Bengals may be ripe for an upset in this particular tournament. They ranked only 18th in Pomeroy’s ratings — about the quality of a No. 5 seed — thanks in large part to a defense that didn’t even decode the nation’s top 60 in corrected efficiency. (This showed up at the 51 second-half things they allowed to Florida while losing their first game of the SEC tournament.) Their NCAA course isn’t very easy, either: Yale is no pushover as a No. 14 seed, nor will be potential second-round competitor Maryland, and we all give the Tigers a mere 26 percent likelihood of beating Michigan State if the groups meet at the Sweet Sixteen. That is easily the lowest-rated top-three seed within the area.
Cinderella watch: No. 11 Belmont. The East is top-heavy, together with Duke and Michigan State soaking up most of the Last Four chances. But the Bruins are still an intriguing lower-seeded team because of an impressive offense led by do-everything swingman Dylan Windler. According to Pomeroy, Belmont ranks 20th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency (and second nationwide in raw points per game behind Gonzaga), while Windler was one of just 3 players nationally to average 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. Even though the Bruins do need to win a play-in match against Temple just to make the area of 64 — we give them a 59 percent opportunity — they would have an extremely aggressive 39 percent probability of upsetting Maryland in the first round and a much greater chance against the LSU/Yale winner.
Player to watch: Cassius Winston, Michigan State
Three years back, zzo said he believed his 6-foot-1 freshman could be Michigan State’s greatest passer since Magic Johnson. The Spartans’ do-everything point guard — one of the best facilitators from the nation — is supporting his trainer’s comment. Just Murray State’s Ja Morant, a surefire lottery pick in this year’s draft, has a higher assist rate than Winston (46.0 percent). And behind Winston, the Spartans assist on the highest speed of field goals in the nation.
The junior also happens to be Izzo’s top scorer and among the country’s top perimeter threats, shooting better than 40% from beyond the arc. As injuries have sapped the Spartans of the on-court production, Winston has elevated his game to compensate. As he put it to The Athletic,”I must do a whole lot for my team to win”
Likeliest first-round upsets: No. 9 Central Florida over No. 8 VCU (47 percent); No. 11 Belmont* over No. 6 Maryland (39 percent); No. 10 Minnesota over No. 7 Louisville (34 percent)

Read more: gosoccerbetting.com