The 2023 regional tournaments are upon us. All season long our team of experts has voted who would make the field of 40. Soon the field will narrow down to the “Erie Eight” who will compete for a national title in two weeks. There will be Goliath’s who dominate their regions, but there will also be David’s pulling upsets. It’s finally time for the April Absurdity to begin.
Great Lakes Regional:
1 Central Michigan VS 8 Butler
4 Indiana VS 5 Iowa State
3 WUSTL VS Ohio State
2 Xavier VS 7 DePaul
This region has 4 teams ranked in the top 20, with 3 others receiving votes throughout the year. It goes without saying this is a very competitive bracket. WUSTL gets a tough draw with a deep and experienced Buckeyes team. Iowa State is a dark horse in this bracket as mentioned in prior articles as the Cyclones have a lot of length and depth on the wing. Ultimately talent wins in April, and the Musketeers might have the best player in this region in Marcus Montagnino while also bolstering a well rounded starting five that includes 2nd team All-American PG Robert Goldsberry.
1 Virginia Tech VS 8 Salisbury
4 Loyola MD VS 5 St. Joes
3 Georgetown VS 6 James Madison
2 Villanova VS 7 Maryland
The Mid-Atlantic region features some great one loss teams in its top three seeds. Georgetown was dominant in its conference play winning by over 30 a game (The Hoyas are currently ranked #21 in all of college hoops according to CBT's Domination Rankings.) Virginia Tech was the top ranked team in the nation at one point and have proven themselves in a must win tournament setting at the Carolina Classic. Villanova and St. Joe's split their conference series, and the two Philadelphia schools would look forward to a round 3 to go to Erie.
New England Regional:
1 Brown VS 8 TUFTS
4 Fairfield VS 5 UCONN
3 Boston College VS 6 Sacred Heart
2 Vermont VS 7 Northeastern
The New England regional will be nothing short of a gauntlet with five teams ranked in the top 11. The last undefeated team in the country Vermont (#19 in the Domination Rankings) plays a motivated Northeastern team led by head coach Knox Lendall in round 1. Brown and UCONN split their conference series with the opportunity for a rubber match in the semis. Boston College was a national qualifier last year and had an impressive sweep of UCONN last semester and split with Northeastern. The Eagles also have the advantage of hosting the regional. You can count on another team from this region making the natty despite whoever books their ticket.
North Atlantic Regional:
1 Penn State VS 8 Rochester
4 Montclair State VS 5 Robert Morris
3 Binghamton-Green VS 6 TCNJ
2 Syracuse VS 7 Albany
The North Atlantic looks like Penn State’s to lose as they have been the unanimous vote as the one seed all season. Albany slips from a possible top 3 seed to the 7 seed after three forfeits in the final weekend. This fall in seeding could spell trouble for the Orange. Robert Morris has two stars in Elijah Cross and David Solomon but may run into the balanced roster of the Nittany Lions led by Djime Traore down low that dominated the Colonials on the road in a conference sweep. TCNJ looks to avenge some demons from last year’s regional and Binghamton wants to get over the hurdle after making the regional semis last year.
1 UCLA VS 3 Cal Poly
2 GCU-Purple VS 4 USC-Cardinal
The Pacific region has the #1 and #2 teams in the nation set for a collision course in the finals. GCU-Purple will have something to prove against the top ranked Trojans. The Antelopes have only one loss in conference play and even won the Arizona Men’s Basketball League. Cal Poly will also try to prevent the battle of LA round 4, but UCLA will have home court advantage.
1 Wake Forest VS 4 Auburn
2 Florida State VS 3 Coastal Carolina
The South Atlantic regional features #12 Wake, #9 Coastal Carolina, and an underrated one loss FSU. The Tigers lost an All-American guard from last season but find themselves back in the regional as well. Florida State just won their home tournament last week and looks to keep that momentum going. A Wake and Coastal final would be a third game between the two teams in two weeks after their split for the conference championship last weekend.
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