We’re just hours away from the start of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. That includes teams from the East Region, with Baylor, UCLA, and Kentucky as the top ones from the bracket. This article is a roundtable, featuring talented writers from Busting Brackets that will be providing their answers to some key questions.
Here are the participating contributors and where to find them on Twitter.
Holden Walter-Warner – @hwalterwarner
Bryan Mauro – @threecolorbeard
Harry Schroeder – @FatherHarry1
1. Which first-round game has your attention the most?
Texas-Virginia Tech is the most interesting game in the region. The Longhorns still earned a No. 6 seed and remain dangerous, despite underwhelming compared to expectations going into the season. The Hokies, meanwhile, are one of the hottest teams in the country and were on the verge of missing the Big Dance altogether before taking the ACC Tournament title. It’s one of only two games in the region that will feature two major conference opponents squaring off.
The obvious answer here has to be Murray State and San Francisco. Murray State is one of the best teams in the country and arguably the second-best mid-major in the country outside of Gonzaga. They have a ton of talent shoot a ton of threes have athletic guards and a great big man.
San Francisco is the exact mirror image of Murray State except they play in a better conference. The Dons have three great guards, shoot a ton of threes, like to run, and have an athletic big man. This region is really interesting because both WCC at large teams is here with Murray State. I also think both teams are really underserved.
For me, it is Murray State facing San Francisco. While people know I’m a fan of mid-major programs and follow both the Ohio Valley and Missouri Valley Conferences, the reason behind my interest in this game is that these two coaches should be vying for national coach of the year. San Francisco was a subpar 11-14 last season and Murray State stumbled to a 13-13 record.
Todd Golden’s Dons finished 24-9 and Matt McMahon’s Murray State posted a remarkable 30-2 campaign. Both teams are top 50 in scoring offense. Each team has great guard play and double-double producing big man.