2023 March Madness Preview and Predictions: East Region

Via Duke Athletics

2023 March Madness Preview and Predictions: East Region


2023 March Madness Preview and Predictions: East Region


Via Duke Athletics

Next region up is the East. This region is run by the dark horses and there are a lot of them which we will break down. 


First Round Upsets

Everyone loves big upsets, however in the East, there isn’t a lot to love. There are some potentials but none that I think will actually occur. Vermont is always a sleeper in the tournament and Oral Roberts is always a fan favorite. However, the only team I think actually has a chance to get the upset in the first round is 14-seed Montana State against three-seed Kansas State. If there is any overrated top three seeded team, it’s the Wildcats. Montana State is also really solid. They are efficient everywhere except behind the arch. In March Madness, the team’s that shoot free throws and the three well are the teams to pick. Montana can get their free throws done, but they struggle from three which could end up being their downfall against a team with a solid resume. 

The Favorites

1 Purdue

Purdue is the most overrated one-seed. First of all, the Big 10 in general is an overrated conference this year. Purdue should be a high-seeded team, but they make more sense as a two-seed. They have a very good resume beating Gonzaga, Marquette, Duke, and Michigan State, but without star big man Zach Edey, they don’t have much. However, they don’t need much when Edey is in the game, so it hasn’t really hurt them. You can compete with Purdue as long as you hit your shots, since Edey is so good on the glass. The teams they play have the offense to limit the number of rebounds they give up, which is why they have their work cut out for them. I think they will lose in round two.


2 Marquette

I love the Big East this year, but Marquette is not one of them. They are pretty efficient offensively, but they are probably one of the worst top-seeded teams defensively. They win games, but their scoring is inconsistent, which could be their downfall. If they face a really good offensive rebounding team, they could fall much earlier than expected. 


The Dark Horses

5 Duke

Duke has the team to win the championship. They are one of the best in the tournament defensively, especially on the glass, so missing shots hurts you way more. They also have a decent path to make a run as well with overrated top four-seeded teams. Duke got hot at the perfect time, winning their last nine games including winning the entire ACC Conference. While the ACC may be a little weak, Duke is not, and they will be a dark horse and a potential Final Four contender in the tournament. 


6 Kentucky

Kentucky is a team that I am definitely higher on than most, but it is for good reason. Led by Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky is fantastic on the glass. I touched on what makes a team a good tournament pick on the offensive side, but the statistic to watch on defense is rebounding percentage. On top of that, Kentucky is coming off a really bad tournament loss to St. Peters just a year ago as a two-seed. Now as a six-seed, they are hungry for more. They will be extremely motivated after they fell far below expectations last year, when they were one of the most popular picks to win the tournament.  


8/9 Memphis/FAU

Both of these teams are equally as scary, entering one of the best games in the entire tournament. Memphis is coming off a conference championship against one of the best teams in the tournament with Houston. FAU is one of the hottest teams in the country right now, with a record of 31-3. Memphis is the popular pick in this game, but I think FAU comes out on top. Either way, both of these teams can make a run in the tournament and whoever moves on from this game, I think upsets Purdue. 



There aren’t really any Cinderella stories to cover, as this region will be run by the dark horses. Memphis and FAU could be Cinderellas if they win more than just getting past Purdue, but there aren’t any double-digit seeds that will make a run in the East. 


Region Winner Prediction: 5 Duke (+750 on Betfred Sportsbook)

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