Breaking Down the East Region
The Virginia Cavaliers are the #1 seed in the East Region for the NCAA Tournament. Besides Coastal Carolina, here's a closer look at the other teams in the region that Virginia could face:
The Memphis Tigers played in the new American Athletic Conference this year. They finished 23-9 overall and 12-6 in the conference. They lost to Connecticut in the quarterfinals of the AAC Tournament. Memphis is led by senior Joe Jackson, who is scoring 14.2 points per game. Memphis swept #4 seed Louisville this year. Virginia has never played Memphis.
#9 George Washington
The George Washington Colonials had a surprise year in the Atlantic 10, finishing 11-5 in the conference and 24-8 overall. They had non-conference wins over Creighton, Maryland, Miami and Georgia. They lost in the semifinals of the A-10 tournament to VCU. George Washington's leading scorer is Maurice Creek, a transfer from Indiana. Virginia is 25-23 all-time against George Washington.
If Virginia beats Coastal Carolina, they will play the winner of Memphis and George Washington in the third round.
Most likely Sweet 16 opponents:
The Cincinnati Bearcats got off to a great start this year, starting their initial year in the American Athletic Conference by winning their first 11 conference games. They did not play as well down the stretch, going 5-4 in their last nine games. They finished 27-6, 15-3 in the AAC and lost in the tournament semifinals to Connecticut. Cincinnati's leading scorer is Sean Kilpatrick, who averaged more than 20 points per game. Virginia is 1-3 all-time against Cincinnati.
#4 Michigan State
The Michigan State Spartans have had an up and down year, but are a popular pick to win the National Championship after their run to win the Big Ten Tournament. They finished the season 26-8 after starting 19-2, dealing with injuries to key players throughout the season. Only two players have played every game for the Spartans this season. Michigan State has been to the Final Four six times under Coach Tom Izzo, most recently in 2010. Virginia is 0-3 all-time against Michigan State.
Most likely Elite 8 opponents:
#3 Iowa State
The Iowa State Cyclones had a breakout year under Coach Fred Hoiberg, starting the season 14-0 and winning the Big 12 Tournament. They have wins over #2 seeds Kansas and Michigan this year. The Cyclones went 11-7 in the Big 12. They have a high powered offense, with three players who averaged at least 16 points per game this year. Virginia is 1-2 all-time against Iowa State.
The Villanova Wildcats are another team that got off to a great start this year. They won their first 11 games, and finished with a 28-4 record. Villanova was a strong contender for a #1 seed before surprisingly losing to Seton Hall in the Big East Tournament. Besides that loss, their only other losses were to Creighton (twice) and Syracuse. The Wildcats get balanced scoring, with three guys averaging between 14 and 15 points per game. Virginia is 4-2 all-time against Villanova.
The teams in the East Region have combined to win 13 National Championships, between North Carolina, Cincinnati, Villanova, Michigan State and Connecticut.