2014 NCAA Tournament: East Region Preview
The East Region is where the National Champion comes from in NDI’s opinion based on their talent, level pf play as of late, and timely nature of getting healthy, but this is the least overall talented region on the bracket.
Last year the Syracuse Orange came out of this region to lose in the Final Four.
This year the top three seeds were all very good teams all year hovering around or near the the Top 10 for about the whole season. They are all undervalued and not expected to make runs to the Final Four, but are all quality teams with experience and limited NBA talent. Overall this region is defined by the quality of the teams, not the individual talent.
Top Rated Prospects (REGIONAL TALENT RATING 4/4)
Potential Lottery: Gary Harris (No.8)
First Round Talents: Adreian Payne (No.18)
Other Prospects To Watch: Bryce Cotton (Providence), J.P. Tokoto (North Carolina), Georges Niang (Iowa State), DeAndre Kane (Iowa State), Shabazz Napier (Connecticut), DeAndre Daniels (Connecticut), Amida Brimah (Connecticut), James Bell (Villanova), Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova), JayVaughn Pinkston (Villanova), Branden Dawson (Michigan State), Denzel Valentine (Michigan State), Keith Appling (Michigan State), Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati), Shaq Goodwin (Memphis), Joe Harris (Virginia), and Mike Tobey (Virginia)
Small School Prospects
Game To Watch
No. 5 Seed Cincinnati Bearcats vs. No. 12 Seed Harvard Crimson
The tough, defensive minded Bearcats led by do-it-all guard Sean Kilpatrick a tough front court. They are capable of physically taking an offense out of rhythm and controlling the pace. Kilpatrick has taken his game to the next level with his ability to put his fingerprints on nearly every aspect of the game. He is not a pure point guard, but runs the offense creating for himself and others. Harvard has their own engine in Siyani Chambers, but they are a balanced efficient offense that routinely has 4-5 players in double-figures. This has the makings for a classic 5-12 upset with Harvard looking for the magic for a second straight year as a double-digit seed.
No. 4 Seed Michigan State Spartans vs. No. 5 Seed Cincinnati Bearcats (Harris vs. Kilpatrick)
No. 6 Seed North Carolina Tar Heels vs. No. 3 Seed Iowa State Cyclones (McAdoo vs.Ejim )
No. 1 Seed Virginia Cavaliers vs. No. 4 Seed Michigan State Spartans (Tobey vs. Payne)
Most To Gain
This region is talented in terms of depth and quality, but lacks a punch at the top in the lottery outside of Gary Harris. The other prospect with a chance of rising into the lottery is Harris’ teammate, Adreian Payne. Outside of the games missed due to injury Payne has had a season worth noting for a lottery pick. He is the prototype stretch-four at the next level with his ability to shoot the ball all over the floor and play inside on both ends of the floor. A strong run in the NCAA Tournament could boost Payne from mid-first round to the lottery in a draft that has more flexibility than previously thought.
Most To Lose
Over the past three years James McAdoo has gone from potential Top 5 Pick to the possibility of going undrafted altogether. This year he has put together his best overall season in terms of production and improvement. He is a good five tool player as a defender, rebounder, and offensive player, but is not great at one thing as a combo forward. With all the younger prospects that replicate McAdoo’s skill-set on the court an early exit from the tournament would only hurt his odds of getting drafted this year.
Elite Eight Representatives
No. 4 Seed Michigan State Spartans over No. 3 Seed Iowa State Cyclones