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2011 March Madness Predictions: East Regional

Since the East Regional is the home of the tournament's top overall seed, that seems like as good a place as any to start. The Ohio State Buckeyes have spent the better part of the season at the top of the NCAA Men's Basketball polls, and with good reason. . .they're the most talented team in college basketball, in my opinion, and I'm not just saying that as a Big Ten homer. But this region is going to be tougher than it might appear at first blush.

Who's overseeded? Well, to be honest, it doesn't appear that anyone in this region is overseeded. It looks like the committee got this one right, and that means this region is going to be a tough one for the Big Ten champions.

Which team has "Danny Manning" potential? "Danny Manning" potential is where one guy carries a team on a huge run, much like Manning did for the Kansas Jayhawks in 1988. For this region, I think that guy could be Xavier guard Tu Holloway, who has a lot of Stephen Curry in his game. If he can get hot, he can shoot the Musketeers past a lot of teams, much like Curry did for Davidson in 2008.

Potential first-round upset: This is going to sound strange, but don't sleep on the Blackbirds of Long Island University. Yes, they have a very tough match-up against North Carolina in the first round, but LIU is fourth in the nation in scoring, and could give the Tarheels fits.

Sweet 16 Picks: Ohio State vs. Kentucky, Xavier vs. North Carolina

Elite Eight Picks: Ohio State vs. North Carolina

Predicted East Bracket Winner: Ohio State

Yes, this might be the toughest region on the board, but it's hard to pick against the Buckeyes. If they play to the level of their talent, there's no reason for me to believe they won't find themselves in Houston.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.