Busting Brackets

Bracketology 2024: Arizona leapfrogs back to a No. 1 seed in the latest field of 68 bracket projection

Feb 10, 2024; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Caleb Love (2) and guard KJ Lewis (5)
Feb 10, 2024; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Caleb Love (2) and guard KJ Lewis (5) / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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East Region (Boston)

1.) UConn vs. 16.) Colgate/Norfolk State

8.) Virginia vs. 9.) Utah

5.) Wisconsin vs. 12.) Princeton

4.) South Carolina vs. 13.) Akron

6.) San Diego State vs. 11.) Mississippi State

3.) Iowa State vs. 14.) Youngstown State

7.) Northwestern vs. 10.) Florida

2.) North Carolina vs. 15.) Quinnipiac

Another team that has remained the same is the top seed in the East Region, the Connecticut Huskies. The eye test is no longer a thing but if you turn on a UConn game you can see that the defending champs certainly look the part of a team that can be the first repeat champion since Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators. The Huskies have a 5-2 road record with four of those tough-to-get road wins coming in quad 1. With a metric average of four and continuing to roll through a tough Big East conference at 12-1, the Huskies deserve the top spot in the East with an eye towards a trip to Boston.

In order to get out of the East region one thing is for sure, your team is going to have to play defense. The region has a handful of teams that rank in the top 20 in defensive efficiency including the top three seeds UConn, North Carolina, and Iowa State as well as 8th-seeded Virginia. The East also gives us the chance at a national championship rematch with the San Diego State Aztecs sitting there as the No. 6 seed. This year the Ivy League is deep with three strong teams and the East is where the Princeton Tigers land as the ever-dangerous No. 12 seed who began the year at 15-1.

In the East, the team to watch is the co-leader in the SEC and the No. 4 seed South Carolina Gamecocks. The job that Lamont Paris has done in Columbia has him in the conversation for National Coach of the Year. The slow-paced Gamecocks are 21-3 with a team that is a top 50 team in both offensive and defensive efficiencies. South Carolina is one of the slowest teams in the country, ranking 355th in adjusted tempo which limits possessions which is a good thing for a team that ranks 34th in effective field goal percentage defense and 29th in two-point defense.