2013 Sweet 16 Picks and Predictions: East Region Odds and Free Picks – NCAA Tournament Betting: If you leaned heavily on the higher seeds during March Madness, the East Region of the NCAA Bracket was your best friend. The top four seeds all advanced to the Sweet 16, making it the only region to play out according to the seeding. All four teams that remain call major conferences home, and three of the teams won at least a share of the conference titles during the regular season. Needless to say, there is plenty of talent lining the rosters of all four teams. Forget about a Cinderella among this group. The East Region will instead be decided by the heavyweights.
2013 Sweet 16 East Region Matchup Previews
No. 4 Syracuse vs. No. 1 Indiana: There have been some bumps in the road for Indiana and Syracuse this season. The Hoosiers lost three separate times as the No. 1 team in the country and saw their losing streak to conference rival Wisconsin reach 12 games. Meanwhile, the Orange looked horrible on offense at times, including scoring just 39 points in a loss to rival Georgetown. Still, both teams survived the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament and are still in the hunt for a national title as they prepare for a showdown in the Sweet 16 Thursday.
Tempo is going to be crucial in this matchup. Syracuse will look to make this a half-court game and control Indiana’s offense with its 2-3 zone. On the flip side, the Hoosiers will try to make it and up-and-down affair so that they can take advantage of their offensive firepower and make the Orange try to keep pace. For Syracuse, guards Michael Carter-Williams, Brandon Triche and C.J. Fair will all need to take quality shots, get to the foul line and limit turnovers in order to establish the tempo the Orange need to win. However, Indiana could find themselves in the driver’s seat if Cody Zeller control the paint on the defensive end and Victor Oladipo forces Carter-Williams into some poor decisions.
At the end of the day, the effectiveness or lack thereof on the part of the Syracuse offense is going to decide this game. Unfortunately for the Orange, Carter-Williams has struggled with consistency most of the year, and Syracuse has gone through terrible offensive slumps on a routine basis. With Oladipo clamping down on Syracuse’s point guard, the Orange could revert to the jump shooting team that couldn’t score down the stretch of the season. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers have the an array of perimeter and post firepower on the offensive end to find some cracks in the Syracuse zone. The Orange just won’t be able to mount enough offense to keep up in this one.
2012 Sweet 16 East Region Projected Winner: Indiana
No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 2 Miami: It hasn’t necessarily been pretty for either team, but thanks to a miracle comeback on the part of Marquette and some questionable calls that went in favor of Miami, two of the biggest surprises of the college basketball season are set to meet in Sweet 16. Neither side was projected to win their conference before the season began, but the Golden Eagles grabbed a share of the Big East crown while the Hurricanes won the ACC regular season and conference tournament title. Both steams have overachieved all year, but the ride is going to come to an end for somebody Thursday night.
The Golden Eagles live and die with a scrappy defense and the offense of guard Vander Blue and forward Davnate Gardner, and both of Marquette’s stars will need to play well on both ends of the court in order to knock of the Hurricanes. The Matchup between Blue and Miami point guard Shane Larkin will be particularly crucial, and if Larkin is able to consistently beat Blue off the dribble and get into the lane, The Hurricanes have shooters dotting their lineup that will make the Golden Eagles pay. Marquette needs to make this game a defensive battle much more than Miami does, and with the Hurricanes missing center Reggie Johnson, the Golden Eagles best chance of winning could involve attacking the rim, pounding the ball inside to Gardner and waiting for quality shots.
Marquette has already been living on borrowed time after surviving its first two games by a combined three points. Yes, the Golden Eagles deserve credit for getting the job done in crunch time, but they were also fortunate to be playing two teams that like to play a slower, defensive-minded pace. The Hurricanes on the other hand not only bring intensity on the defensive end, but they aren’t afraid to push the pace on the offensive end either. Larkin and company will make the Golden Eagles pair for a slow start, and unlike Davidson or Butler, the Hurricanes will finish he job.
2013 Sweet 16 East Region Projected Winner: Miami
2013 Sweet 16 East Region Favorite to Make the Final Four
Indiana: Unlike a majority of the teams in the country, the Hoosiers can consistently score the basketball. More importantly, they have four or five players that can carry the offensive load on any given night. Indiana’s biggest weakness has been bigger teams that play physical inside, and while the East Region contains some excellent defensive teams, there isn’t a team that has a big, imposing frontcourt, especially with Johnson on the shelf for the Hurricanes. They weren’t exactly dominant in the Round of 32, but the Hoosiers have too many offensive weapons and too much offensive firepower for the rest of the region. Indiana will ride its arsenal of scorers to Atlanta as the program continues to restore its reputation.
Odds to win the East Region
8107 Indiana +100
8110 Marquette +650
8111 Miami Florida +175
8115 Syracuse +400
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