Busting Brackets

Bracketology 2024: Gonzaga and BYU surge in the first bracket projection for the field of 68 in March

Feb 27, 2024; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Brigham Young Cougars guard Dallin Hall (30) celebrates with
Feb 27, 2024; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Brigham Young Cougars guard Dallin Hall (30) celebrates with / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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East Region (Boston)

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

8.) Oklahoma vs. 9.) Gonzaga

5.) Auburn vs. 12.) Grand Canyon

4.) Illinois vs. 13.) Samford

6.) Wisconsin vs. 11.) Colorado/Villanova

3.) Kansas vs. 14.) Youngstown State

7.) Boise State vs. 10.) Florida Atlantic

2.) North Carolina vs. 15.) Fairfield

As we head to the East region, the UConn Huskies still preside in the No. 1 spot there. The defending champs and leaders in the Big East are one of the most relentless teams in the country with five guys averaging double figures and shooting 49% from the field. With six quad 1A wins and metrics all in the top seven heading into Sunday contributing to their already strong resume, it's hard seeing the Huskies getting bumped off the top-seed line at this point.

The East is loaded behind UConn with two teams that have been in contention for a No. 1 seed in North Carolina and Kansas as the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds respectively. This could be labeled the blue-blood region with the Duke Blue Devils here as the No. 4 seed and hoping for another potential matchup with their rivals from Chapel Hill with a trip to Phoenix on the line. The Huskies may be the team best suited to repeat since Florida, but in this region, they will certainly be battle-tested if they get there.

Let’s talk about the No. 9 seed in this region, a team who for most of the season people seemed to have on the back burner because they weren’t up to the level we’re used to seeing them at, the Gonzaga Bulldogs. They just finished off the regular season by handling league-leader Saint Mary’s on the road in impressive fashion. The Bulldogs may be down in the eyes of some, but they’d be wrong. They’re a top-40 team in offensive and defensive efficiencies, 9th in the country in effective field goal percentage, and 6th in two-point percentage. Defensively, they don’t allow opponents to get to the rim with a two-point defense that is 11th in the country. No. 1 seeds are secretly hoping Gonzaga keeps trending upward, they’re not a team they want to see in the second round.