2012 NCAA Bracket Predictions East Region: The Syracuse University men’s basketball team has been awarded the No. 1 seed in the East Region of the 2012 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. The Orange (31-2) earned the top seed in the East Regional Sunday when the bracket for the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship was revealed. The Orange received one of the 37 at-large berths into the 68-team field and will face No. 16 seed UNC Asheville in the second round Thursday, March 15 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The game will tip off at approximately 3:10 p.m. ET. The Bulldogs (24-9) earned an automatic bid into the field after winning the Big South Conference Tournament.
The Orange might be the No. 1 seeds in the East, but if odds makers at online sports book Bovada.lv are correct, it will be Ohio State cutting down the nets and heading to the Final Four. The Buckeyes are installed as 8-to-5 College Basketball Odds favorites to win the East. Syracuse is installed with second best odds as 9-to-4, followed by Vanderbilt (9-1) and Florida State (10-to-1). Assuming Syracuse gets past UNC-Asheville, it will face either No. 8 Kansas State or No. 9 Southern Mississippi in the third round. Once pairings were announced, sports shops were quick to list Syracuse as 17-chalk favorites over UNC-Asheville. Kansas State is an early 6-point betting line favorite versus USM.
The Ohio State Buckeyes (27-7) missed out on grabbing a regional No. 1 seed by losing to Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament and is assigned No. 2 in the East. The Buckeyes will play No. 15 Loyola-Maryland (24-8) at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., in the second round. Most sports shops are listing the Buckeyes as 18-chalk favorites versus Loyola. The winner between OSU and Loyola-Maryland will play the winner of the game between No. 7 Gonzaga and No. 10 West Virginia. Most sports shops list the Buckeyes as 18-chalk favorites versus Loyola. The winner between OSU and Loyola-Maryland will play the winner of the game between No. 7 Gonzaga and No. 10 West Virginia. The game between the Bulldogs and Mountaineers is listed as a PICK.
The Florida State Seminoles will play in the East Regional as a No. 3 seed after winning their first ever Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Championship. The Seminoles will play No. 14 seed Saint Bonaventure of the Atlantic-10 on Friday in Nashville, Tenn. FSU is an early 6 1/2-chalk favorite over the Bonnies for the game. The winner of this game will advance to play the winner of No. 6 Cincinnati and No. 11 Texas. The Bearcats are currently listed as 2-chalk favorites for their second round game with the Longhorns.
The Wisconsin Badgers (24-9) received a No. 4 seed in the East and will face the No. 13 Montana Grizzlies (25-6) in the second round in Albuquerque, N.M. The Badgers and Grizzlies will play at approximately 2:10 p.m. ET. The winner of the game between the Badgers and Grizzlies will play the winner of the No. 5 Vanderbilt and No. 12 Harvard game. Wisconsin is lined as 9 1/2-chalk favorite versus Montana and Vandy is a 6 1/2-point favorite over Harvard.
East Region Picks: I believe Florida State has great potential to pull off an upset in this region providing they get past a very good St. Bonaventure team. Ohio State will not have any problems with No. 15 Loyola-Maryland and Gonzaga will show the Mountaineers how good West Coast Conference basketball really is. I expect Cincinnati will edge Texas before losing in the regional third round to the Seminoles. Vanderbilt and Wisconsin will play for a chance at the Final Eight and Kansas State pulls off an upset of Syracuse. My East Region champion pick is Florida State.
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