NCAA Tournament Fantasy Preview:
East Region Preview
A day after the selection committee’s final decisions, one thing is sure is that the East region was more predictable than others. FanPicks is proud to bring you this preview of this NCAA Tournament fantasy preview of the East region’s top teams and players.
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The North Carolina Tar Heels may have a clear shot at a title run and Elite 8 berth. It won’t be an easy task but the way they’re playing, dropping only 1 game out of their last 7 and securing the ACC tournament championship once more, anything is possible. They could’ve obtained possibly the top overall seed the way they played. With 3 of the top basketball programs among the 16 teams fighting for a place in Houston, Kentucky, Notre Dame and the Tar Heels will be in a hell of a battle.
Top Players to watch:
- Brice Johnson :
Johnson is not only a well rounded played but surrounded by top-level talent on his squad, making him even more dangerous. He could possibility carry UNC to a 3rd title under Coach Roy Williams. The playmaker is projected to be drafted already in the 1st round of the NBA Draft in June. John averages 16.6 pts per game with 10.6 boards, with a steal and a block per game.
- Tyler Ulis :
Ulis, still considered the nation’s top point guard averaging 16.8 pts per game, 7.2 assists and a 1.4 steals. He will try to carry the Wildcats past the tough East region favoured by UNC. With Jamal Murray, their Final Four aspirations may be possible
- Jamal Murray :
Murray has scored over 20 pts in 12 of his last 13 games with the Kentucky Wildcats, making a deadly threat for opponents. He will most likely continue his form with Tyler Ulis calling the shots on their offense.
- Kris Dunn :
The junior out of Providence is one of the top prospects for June’s NBA draft and most explosive player in the region averaging 16 pts with 6.4 assists. If he keeps his turnovers down (3.5 turnover/game) look out for him.
- Nigel Hayes:
The junior forward is hoping to add a third trip to the Final Four with the Badgers. An instrumental player for Wisconsin, his production can lead the Badgers very far in the tournament despite the loss of key players last year. He’s averaging 16.3 pts per game with almost 6 boards, 3 assists and 1 steal. Those numbers are unlikely going down.
- Yogi Ferrell
Ferrell is less spoken about, unlike Kris Dunn or Tyler Ulis when it comes down to the best PG in the nation. However, he led the Hoosiers to a regular season Big Ten title and nearly double doubled in the conference tournament final. He averages a huge 17 pts per game with 5.5 assists and a steal per game.
Team to watch out for:
The Michigan Wolverines have been finding ways to win, including their upset in the conference final to # 1 seed Indiana. If they get past Tulsa in the First Four matchup to face Notre Dame, they may cause the first upset of many in the tournament if their shooting beyond the arc remains the same.
First round upset possibilty:
There have been a lot of talks about Indiana possibly not getting past Chattanooga. This should be an interesting game with Chattanooga’s defense known to cause a lot of turnover and Indiana actually being one of the worst teams in terms of turnovers per game.