Busting Brackets

Ranking the top 8 backcourts in the East Region who could carry their team to the second round

Guards decide the big games in March Madness, so I'm here to tell you who has the best ones in the East Region.

Connecticut Huskies guard Tristen Newton (2)
Connecticut Huskies guard Tristen Newton (2) / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
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4. . . . . . Northwestern. PG: Boo Buie. SG: Ryan Langborg. 489

The 8/9 matchup in the East will be excellent for guard play with Boo Buie against Johnell Davis. However, the Wildcats have lost three of their last four in large part because Buie hasn’t gotten much help. 

In Northwestern’s Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal against Wisconsin, Buie went off for 29 points on 9-15 shooting and 7-11 from three, but only one other Wildcat scored in double-figures in the 70-61 loss. Buie shoulders a massive load for Northwestern and is averaging a career-high 19.2 points in his fifth season in Evanston. 

While Buie is forced to take a high volume of shots, he does it efficiently, knocking down 44.3% of his 6.0 three-point attempts a game, many of them off the dribble. Buie is also effective at getting to the rim and is a reliable 85.1% from the free throw line. He's the type of scoring guard that regularly arises as a "Kemba candidate" in the tournament, but Kemba had a bit more help than Boo does.

The problem for Northwestern in this list is the same as on the court, Buie doesn’t have much help. Langborg shoots over 41% from three and can play make a little, averaging 2.6 assists, but the 6-foot-4 Princeton transfer is far from dynamic. With an electric lead guard who has an objectively hilarious name, the Wildcats should be one of the most fun teams in the country, but Chris Collins' team is a total letdown.