March Madness 2018: First Weekend Predictions for the East Region

I am no expert, but I am Joneszee, so that has to count for something. Below is your First Weekend Predictions for the East Region.

(Note, I am doing something different this year and have comprised a formula that has helped me with the picks (for the First Round). Those factors include RPI, BPI, KenPom, offensive efficiency, PPG, RPG, APG, SPG, BPG, TOPG, FG%, FT%, 3-PT%, conference RPI, wins, BPI projection, players in double figures, defensive efficiency, gut feeling, seeding, and Elite 8 projection)

March Madness is Here! (CHIRP THAT! #15)

First Four-

16 Long Island vs. 16 Radford (6:40 TRUTV, Tuesday)

There are two reasons to watch this game. The first reason is that it is the first game of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The second is that Radford’s journey to get to the “Big Dance” is an incredible one. Is this the real Jim Rome?

  • Pick: Radford

11 St. Bonaventure vs. 11 UCLA (9:10 TRUTV, Tuesday)

Whether its St. Bonaventure or UCLA that are coming out of this game, they will have a tough out in the First Round versus Florida. With that said, I think St. Bonaventure is a better team overall and deserved way more than what UCLA got regarding an invitation to dance.

  • Pick: St. Bonaventure

First Round-

16 Radford vs. 1 Villanova (6:50 TNT, Thursday)

The best thing about the First Four is that it gives teams like Radford the opportunity to earn an NCAA Tournament victory for the record books before getting destroyed but a one-seed that’s hungry for another championship.

  • Pick: Villanova

9 Alabama vs. 8 Virginia Tech (9:20 TNT, Thursday)

Initially, I want to put Alabama in the Round of 32 easily, but I decided against it after going through my data set. Virginia Tech outscored Alabama 411.699-203.300 in my “Joneszee Analysis.” The Hokies beat the Tide in every category imaginable except for defensive efficiency. Again, you can’t rule out the raw talent that Alabama’s Collin Sexton has, but I’m going to have to side with the numbers on this one.

  • Pick: Virginia Tech

12 Murray State vs. 5 West Virginia (4:00 TNT, Friday)

I think Murray State has had an outstanding year in the Ohio Valley Conference, but the truth is that that conference was a bit down this year as Belmont wasn’t as hot as they could’ve been. Murray State will have a tough matchup in West Virginia. And yes, the Mountaineers destroyed them in my analytics, 319.336-127.777.

  • Pick: West Virginia

13 Marshall vs. 4 Wichita State (1:30 TNT, Friday)

This one could be interesting as it is being played in San Diego with a 10:30 AM local start. That might play a factor for both Marshall and Wichita State when you add in the travel as well. However, and my analytics back this up, Wichita State is a lock for this game. There is no in between. The Shockers aren’t going home this Friday.

  • Pick: Wichita State

11 St. Bonaventure vs. 6 Florida (9:57 TRUTV, Thursday)

This 11/6 game will be a highly competitive matchup if both teams are playing to the best of their ability, which is what you hope for in March after all. The Bonnies remind me of Loyola in this case, who beat Florida on the road back in December. However, I’m siding with the Gators based on my analytics. (196.00-178.08)

  • Pick: Florida

14 Stephen F. Austin vs. 3 Texas Tech (7:27 TRUTV, Thursday)

The NCAA Tournament is rigged. You can’t tell me otherwise. How did Stephen F. Austin get slotted to go to Dallas, to take on Texas Tech? It really is all about the money, huh?

  • Pick: Texas Tech

10 Butler vs. 7 Arkansas (3:10 TRUTV)

BPI suggests that these two should’ve been flipped in the seedings, but I don’t see BPI in as high of a light as some of the other rankings out there. (Of course, I value mine the best.) Regardless of what BPI says, Arkansas is a very talented team out of the SEC. I think they finished the year with some conviction, and they always seem to outdo themselves in the NCAA Tournament. However, I told myself that I was going to be a big stickler on my analytics for the First Round, and Butler beats Arkansas in that regard 280.193-228.450.

  • Pick: Butler

15 Cal State Fullerton vs. 2 Purdue (12:40 TRUTV)

I didn’t even bother doing any crunching of numbers for this one. It’s such an unfair matchup that favors Purdue left and right.

  • Pick: Purdue

Round of 32-

8 Virginia Tech vs. 1 Villanova

The Round of 32 matchups for the one-seeds of the world is always tricky. They get done playing a measly 16-seed and are then stuck with playing a hot 8/9-seed team that just went through a battle in the First Round. The edge has to go to Villanova when looking at the stats, but if you aren’t sold on many people’s favorite to win it all, allow me to say one thing: Villanova (with a win in the First Round) will be 10-0 on a neutral site this season. How about that, folks?

  • Pick: Villanova

5 West Virginia vs. 4 Wichita State

One of the better games we will see puts West Virginia against an undervalued Wichita State team in my opinion. This game will be a battle of great coaches and even better play on the floor. I have a hunch about the Shockers, though. That’s why I’m siding with them. (Everyone is allowed to have an inkling, don’t @ me.)

  • Pick: Wichita State

6 Florida vs. 3 Texas Tech

I think Florida will be gassed more than anything from their encounter with St. Bonaventure. Some are quick to say that Texas Tech peaked way-too-early with their talented players that got injured, but they’re healthy right now. The Red Raiders could’ve won the Big 12 regular season with ease if they were at 100%.

  • Pick: Texas Tech

10 Butler vs. 2 Purdue

Again, the NCAA Tournament is rigged. Really? Butler and Purdue in a Round of 32 battle? Butler lost to Purdue by a score of 82-67 on December 16th. The Boilermakers were too much for the Bulldogs then, and they will be too much for them here and now.

  • Pick: Purdue

That’ll do it for the First Round and Round of 32 picks for the East Region of the NCAA Tournament. What did you think of the predictions? Who do you have going to the Sweet 16? Be sure to tell us about it in the comment section below. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter: @PowerRank_More, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on our Instagram page for all of the latest information from Power Rankings and More.

Published on 3/13/18 at 12:30 PM EST.
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Matthew "Joneszee" Jones

Core Group leader at Ball State Chi Alpha. I currently do PRAM on the side for fun.

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