Ben Clanin, 23 Sports

Let’s just kick this thing off by saying this is by far in a way the most insane opening weekend of a March Madness Tournament in my lifetime, if not all time. But instead of taking a look at the parts of the bracket that have been incredibly crazy, I want to look at the calmest portion of the bracket, the East region. The biggest upset that came out of the East was the 13 seed Marshall taking down the four seed Wichita State, and on the surface that looks like pretty big upset, right? In any other year it probably would be but it’s being overlooked like crazy this year because of teams like UMBC, Buffalo, Loyola-Chicago (shout-out to Sister Jean for their run), Syracuse, Nevada, and others.

But as far as the seeding goes the East has been fairly easy to predict, with the obvious favorite Villanova easily taking care of a tough Alabama team in the Round of 32. West Virginia and their infamous full court press have made it to the Sweet Sixteen which was a fairly foreseeable event because that press is just so darn tough to break. The two seed Purdue has also been performing really well even without their big-man Isaac Haas, but fellow seven-footer Matt Haarms has been performing very well in his absence. He stole the show against Butler, who is always a tough matchup in March and led the Boilermakers past the Bulldogs by a final score of 76-73.

The two games in the Sweet Sixteen coming out of the East are Villanova vs West Virginia and Texas Tech vs Purdue. For the Villanova West Virginia game, I would expect Nova to come away with the win here because West Virginia does this every single year, they always really impress everybody with their defense in the first two rounds, then they face off against a team that knows how to handle it and they crumble. As for Texas Tech and Purdue this one Is really a toss-up for me. Even though I expect this to be a tight game I see the size and physicality of Purdue just edging out the Red Raiders. But if this tournament has taught us anything it’s that you never really can know what to expect out of these teams.