This article is part of our NCAA Tournament Preview series.
EAST REGION PREVIEW
The East is far from the region of death, but there are number of qualities teams capable of earning a trip to the Final Four. There appears to be little room for double-digit seeds to shine and advance past the first weekend of games. Still, the weakest No. 1 seed landed in this region in the the Virginia Cavaliers, despite UVA winning the ACC regular season and tournament crowns. A meeting with Michigan State in the Sweet 16 could spell doom for the Cavaliers. This region is not the prettiest side of the bracket to watch, with several defensively superior units.
No. 1 Virginia - The Cavaliers haven't seen this type of success since Ralph Sampson took the court more than 30 years ago. Virginia provides stifling defense; the Cavaliers are No. 1 in the country in fewest points allowed, yielding just 55.3 points per game. Coach Tony Bennett employs a slow-down offense as well, which forces bruising, grind-out victories. Still, the emergence of sophomore Malcolm Brogdon has provided a steady hand on offense. Senior Joe Harris saw his scoring drop this season, but he can still stroke it. The Cavaliers have won 16 of their last 17 games and are most effective when they make opponents play at their speed and tempo.
No. 2 Villanova - The Wildcats could have been a one seed, but the buzzer-beating loss to Seton Hall in a weakened Big East tourney prevented that. Still, coach Jay Wright has