Breaking Down the Brackets, D4L Style: East Region

This is part one in a four-part series (that I will actually finish this time) looking at the different regions for this year’s men’s NCAA tournament. Predictions are overrated (mostly since that hot chick with the nice rack that works three cubicles away from you is going to win your office pool because she likes Kansas’s colors), so we’ll take a look at some of the more interesting stuff within each bracket. Hopefully I’ll have all four brackets done by the time the action tips off on Thursday, but I’ll be piss-ass drunk celebrating other cultures this week, so we’ll see how everything goes.

Best team nickname: Montana Grizzlies. You can’t argue against a damn grizzly bear. See? You just shit your pants after clicking on that link. Grizzlies are hardcore mofo’s. The Morgan State Bears? Close, but it’s too ambiguous. This is a bear. Grizzlies don’t fuck around.

Montana Grizzlies

Best player name (but don’t ask me how to pronounce it): Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest. The only thing better than Aminu’s name is his game. AFA is projected as a Top 10 pick in next year’s NBA draft if he decides to leave his last two years of eligibility on the table. He’s definitely on the Pistons’ watch list, and should be on yours this weekend too.

Al-Farouq Aminu

Player most likely to get mistaken for one of us (a.k.a. the whitest kid I could find): Andrew Dick, Texas. Name jokes aside, check out this guy’s picture. Yeah, he probably has the smoovest jumper you’ve ever seen, but still. Even a spot on the basketball team isn’t getting this dude any ass.

Andrew Dick Texas

Shut up Jay Bilas, this dude sucks (Mr. Overrated): Isaiah Thomas, Washington. No, not this Isiah Thomas. The younger Thomas (no relation) is also a point guard, but sports an ugly 1.2:1 (for a PG) assist-to-turnover ratio and is only shooting 31% from 3-point range. When you’re only 5’8″, you need more than that.

Isaiah Thomas Washington

Hottest WAG/Daughter/Celebrity Fan: Ashley Judd, Kentucky. The easy way out? Yeah, probably. You try finding a picture of John Calipari’s wife or whether Damion James has a girlfriend. Regardless, you can do a lot worse than Judd.

Ashley Judd

Check out my predictions after the jump…


Why is this bracket interesting?: One word: depth. Of the four regions, this is the one that I could see getting messy very quickly. 12-seed Cornell has size and experience, 11-seed Washington is getting hot at the right time, and names like Wofford and Montana could easily become giant-killers by the end of the week.

Don’t bet on this team: Kentucky Wildcats. John Wall is the truth and DeMarcus Cousins is a future Piston (make it happen, Joe D!), but they are still just freshmen in a tournament that rewards experience. Plus, Kentucky got a stupid-difficult draw. Texas is one of the best 8 seeds you’ve ever seen, Temple’s 5 seed is too high (they could have easily been a 4 and maybe even a 3 seed), and West Virginia is getting hot at the right time. John Calipari won’t want to make any plans for Indianapolis just yet.

Bracket buster (a.k.a. The George Mason Award): Temple Owls. Like I said above, Temple is better than your average 5 seed. They are one of the hottest teams in the country coming into the tournament and will raise hell against anyone they’re matched up against. I think they go down to Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen, but they’re definitely capable of the upset.

Not going down without a fight (Cinderella): Washington Huskies. Yeah, I bashed their point guard above, but they have a very winnable first round game against an up-and-down Marquette squad, then not-as-athletic New Mexico in the 2nd round. I would have put Cornell here for any other matchup, but I don’t see them getting past Temple.

Possible first-weekend shocker: Wake Forest/Texas over Kentucky. The Wildcats may lead the country in Diaper Dandies, but both Wake Forest and Texas have the talent and athleticism to hang with Kentucky for a full 40 minutes. Don’t forget that Texas was ranked #1 earlier this season and that the ACC is a much deeper league than the SEC. Regardless of who the ‘Cats match up against, I think they’re in for a battle.

Final Four representative: West Virginia Mountaineers. Bob Huggins’ team looks like they are getting hot at the right time, and in the right way. The Mountaineers won three straight nailbiters in the Big East tournament to lock up a #2 seed in a very manageable bottom half of the East region. WVU is talented and battle-tested, and I think we’ll see them in Indy in two weeks. Plus, after all of the coaches Michigan has been stealing from them lately, they’re due.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for another region. Until then, leave your thoughts, predictions, and pictures of other goofy white kids I missed in the comments.

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